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Newark Church Celebrates Opening of Community Service Center

Story by Heidi Shoemaker
Published 10/18/11

Bob Diebold, Newark mayor; assists Raj Attiken (center), Ohio Conference president; and Tom Hughes (right), Newark’s pastor; cut the ribbon.  

Ohio Conference’s Newark church recently celebrated the grand opening of their newly renovated Community Services Center. Newark city officials showed their support by attending the grand opening, and Mayor Bob Diebold assisted Tom Hughes, Newark’s pastor, and conference president Raj Attiken at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “We are meeting [our neighbor’s] needs by giving them the tools they need to succeed. Our success depends on their success!” noted Hughes.

The center also houses their New Horizons Learning Center, which will provide basic computer, math and reading classes. The facility will also be used for marriage and parenting seminars, assorted counseling programs, as well as a variety of other classes that Pastor Hughes and friends of the church will teach.

“We started our renovation project with $30,000 donated by two church members,” said Donna Goodell, the center’s coordinator.  “Our project is completed, it is debt free (thanks in part to the Carter Estate).” 

As they had no children, John and Sylvia Carter Estate wanted their assets to benefit their local congregation. When deciding how to best utilize the funds, church leaders surveyed the needs of members as well as the people who came into their Community Services Center for food or clothing. The survey results easily dovetailed with Pastor Tom Hughes’ ideas he adopted from The Ministry of Healing (page 143). “I determined in my heart that I would follow Jesus’ true method of evangelism, and the Newark church embraced this vision,” said Hughes.
“The Carter Estate has given us the opportunity to significantly improve the lives of our church members and our school students. The Carter Pavilion and new playground will greatly add to the unity of our church. The endowment, set up from a portion of the Carter Estate, will continue to bless the [Newark Seventh-day Adventist] school for years to come,” said Hughes.

Located at 21 Easy Street in downtown Newark, the renovations were completed through volunteers such as a non-church member who served as the building superintendent; an electrician from the congregation; other Newark member volunteers, the Pathfinders and with support from the Ohio Conference.