The Best is Yet to Come: Connecticut Church Steps Out on Faith as Growth Continues
By Carl Stagner
Only four years ago, Church of God Ministries highlighted the clarion call of one Connecticut man to commit every fiber of his being to Christ and community. In the years since the story broke, evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in the congregation led by Esau Greene has mounted, and the case has been made for a follow-up. A mission to the streets and a haven for believers, New Antioch Church of God in Branford is capturing that New Testament, early-church zeal for life-altering ministry that hearkens back to the days of the Apostle Paul’s activities at the “old” Antioch. In response to continued growth and open doors of opportunity, Pastor Esau Greene and New Antioch Church of God are embracing plans to expand faith and footprint.
In a recent letter to friends and supporters of the incredible work taking place at New Antioch, Pastor Esau announced with great excitement plans underway to “fortify” the congregation. “We are launching this mission for the continued strength of the kingdom of God through New Antioch Church of God and our local and global communities.”
Of course, the ministry of the Connecticut congregation isn’t new; the testimonies of people pulled off the streets and lives transformed through the love of Jesus at New Antioch have accumulated steadily and are often shared on church social media with great glory given to God. But some of the new opportunities set before the congregation are now coming into focus.
“We began leasing our current location nearly two years ago and were unsure of if we were ready to take on the full task of ownership,” Pastor Esau recounts. “[But] once again God stepped in, and we are thriving and growing.”
Currently fundraising to purchase the property they’re currently leasing, New Antioch Church of God is trusting God to supply their every need. Looking back on what God’s already done, that’s not too tall an order.
“As I reflect, I can remember the Lord telling my wife Tiffany and me, ‘Go, I will supply,” Pastor Esau explains. “Truly God has been faithful to his word concerning us and, every time it seems as if we’re at the end of our rope, there goes God again! This entire process has been a great lesson in trusting God and walking by faith and not by sight.”
The Helen Harrison House of Hope, which provides safe, clean space for women in crisis to “recover and renew” before re-entry into society, is housed on the campus of the church. The Enhanced Hope program is another program of the church, “implemented to provide a safe and supportive environment for at-risk and underprivileged youth.” Each of these major efforts of New Antioch Church require adequate space to operate and grow; with an ultimate purchase of the church property, these programs can be ensured to continue and help more at-risk women and children with exactly what they need for physical, mental, and spiritual health.
“The most rewarding feeling in the world, besides seeing someone give their life to Christ, is taking children out of the dangers of the inner city and providing a safe haven where they can simply be children,” Pastor Esau reflects. “Enhanced Hope is truly one of the fueling reasons we are seeking to purchase this property.”
New Antioch Church of God believes that, with God, all things are possible. They also believe that with God, the best is yet to come. “Greater is coming!” they insist.
“Although we have enjoyed moderate success as a ministry,” Pastor Esau concludes, “I’m reminded of the old church hymn, ‘Learning to Lean.’ As God enlarges our territory, we realize he has more power than we’ve ever dreamed. It has been a humbling experience, and I can’t even walk without him holding my hand.”
Pastor Esau Greene thanks the Church of God movement for continued investment in what God is doing in and through New Antioch Church of God. Any assistance is welcome, and such help isn’t limited to traditional means of giving. “Clothing, toiletries, food—anything of value is utilized [among us] to the uplifting of the kingdom of God.” Learn more and contact Pastor Greene for more information; email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be glad to help connect him to you, too.
To read more about New Antioch Church of God and the tremendous, lasting value they bring to their neighborhood, read “Village of Hope at Antioch: A Ministry Dream Realized in Connecticut.”
Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.