HAZLETON, Pa.—Restored Church is growing and plans to baptize five new believers during its Easter Sunday service. The church plant, which is the daughter church of Restored Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, is grateful for the $10,000 Start Up grant that Regular Baptist Builders Club provided last month. “Thank you so much for your investment in multiplying followers of Jesus in Hazleton,” says Dan Nichols, multiplication pastor at Restored Church and missionary with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism.
One of those new believers is Josh, “who can’t wait to get baptized on Easter Sunday,” Dan says. Several months ago, Josh was staying at Divine Providence Shelter when a Restored Hazleton community group came to serve dinner and tell people about the saving power of Christ. Dan says, “Now Josh is serving the meals with our launch team and is showing how Jesus has radically transformed his life!” Dan says that Josh is an active teammate with Restored Hazleton and is growing spiritually through intentional discipleship.
“What I really love about Restored Hazleton is the family atmosphere,” Josh says, “and the loving and caring people who showed support at community group. I was in a dark spot in my life. I started reading the gospel with them, and it really changed me from the inside out.”
Dan reports that God has grown Restored Hazleton from two to five community groups that continue meeting weekly for Bible study and prayer in area homes. The church also holds monthly Gathering services in its rented space in a downtown community college and is planning weekly Sunday family huddles beginning in May. “The launch team is energized and is preparing to hit the streets with a felt-needs survey once the weather breaks,” he says.
Dan also says that the Hazleton team has been growing “prayer plants” over the winter that they will deliver to their neighbors in the spring while telling them that the church has been praying for them.
Restored Hazleton Pastor Danny Gonzalez has also been invited by the Hazleton police department to assist them with Hispanic chaplaincy. “Whether it’s Pastor Danny hosting massive football parties at his house, or the mayor or Hazleton passing out Restored Church glow sticks himself, the momentum is contagious!” Dan says.