New church in Concord tries to lend a hand

  • Kevin Twombly, pastor of the new Restoration Foursquare Church, poses outside the United Baptist Church building on Fayette Street in Concord where his congregation holds its services. NICK REID / Monitor staff

  • Kevin Twombly, pastor of the new Restoration Foursquare Church, poses outside the United Baptist Church building on Fayette Street in Concord where his congregation holds its services. NICK REID—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 10/16/2016 12:19:24 AM

A Penacook man has formed a new church downtown as a place from which he and his congregants hope to branch out into the city and lend their hands helping its disadvantaged residents.

The pastor of Restoration Foursquare Church, Kevin Twombly, said his first public service Oct. 2 at the United Baptist Church drew 168 attendees.

Although someday he’d like for the church to have its own facility, he said, perhaps with enough space to offer shelters for homeless residents and women fleeing domestic violence, he’s happy for now to borrow afternoons at the Baptist church on Fayette Street.

“Our focus really is with the refugees, the homeless, the addicts and the single mothers,” he said. “We’re trying to stay low maintenance, low cost, so as money does come into the church through offerings, we’re able to put that back out into the community.”

Twombly, 44, who previously worked full-time for 15 years at Pembroke’s Grace Capital Church, said his time volunteering overnights last winter at the cold-weather shelter for the city’s homeless population at St. Peter’s Church opened his eyes “to the world of the homeless . . . hearing their stories and finding out what their needs were.”

“We’re trying to do what we can to meet some of those needs and get them off the street,” he said, by volunteering with local organizations including Rise Again Outreach and Open Hands Resource Center.

He said he’s also lent a hand making repairs at the Crisis Center of Central New Hampshire’s building, which provides services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“We’re trying to do what we can to connect with local agencies,” he said. “We don’t want to reinvent the wheel – there’s plenty of wheels out there – we want to partner with them and really have the people that are part of our church as a resource to be able to serve and help those different agencies.”

He added: “They’ve got a great mission. They’ve got a great model. They may not have the volunteers they need.”

The church members began meeting privately in August, starting a 13-week series studying the book of Philippians. Twombly said it’s a four-chapter book that many churches might preach in four weeks, but “I’m just saying there’s a lot within that we can really dig into.”

The church uses a modern band with electric instruments and subwoofers and tries to have fun, he said, but beyond that, he doesn’t intend to bring in fancy lights and video screens.

“The drive right now in a lot of the churches is to try to be as hip and glam and glitzy as possible,” he said. “We’re meeting in an older Baptist church with stained-glass windows, and that’s who we are. We’re trying to keep it really simple and keep it focused on Jesus.”

Although technology doesn’t necessarily distract from substantive preaching, he said, “We’d rather not spend the money on those things. The money that we do have, we’d rather put toward mission, and we see the mission being much more focused outside the church than inside.”

Last summer, Twombly said, he saw a boy on Loudon Road riding a bicycle on its rims, with no tires whatsoever. As a cyclist with a bit of mechanic know-how, his next move became a story he shares to exemplify the change a lone person with a mission can effect.

He told the boy to return tomorrow to the makeshift bike repair shop he was setting up nearby at the Morning Star Condominiums. Over four days, he said, he repaired 40 such bicycles, with flat tires, bent wheels and falling-off chains.

Then he put out the word on Facebook that he was looking for bicycle donations to give away to children, and soon he started returning home to find them lined up in his driveway. He’s given away 170 bikes in the past year, he said, that were donated to him.

It came as no surprise to him, though, how much he was able to accomplish, and he believes that through positive attitude, his congregants can help to solve some of the city’s problems.

“If God can use me, he can use anyone,” Twombly said. “Everyone has a skill, a talent, an ability that they can use to help someone else.”

The Restoration Foursquare Church meets at 4 p.m. each Sunday at the United Baptist Church, 39 Fayette St.

 

(Nick Reid can be reached at 369-3325, nreid@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @NickBReid.)




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