Central Christian in midst of makeover

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Central Christian Church minister Bill Brewer and a core group of members are working to bring the church back to its roots and the Bible.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

Since Central Christian Church’s beginnings in 1908, it has had many ups and downs.

Three years ago during a downturn, a core group of church and board members met to choose between closing the church or rebuilding.

The group chose to rebuild and began down a long and difficult road, Minister Bill Brewer said.

“Even churches can have a makeover,” Brewer said. “We figured if we didn’t like the results, we should change what we’re doing.”

Brewer, who was brought on board 18 months ago, said sometimes a church can evolve away from its roots.

“We’re looking to see a new attitude in our people,” Brewer said. “We want a new reputation in the community. We want to be more Christ-like in our outreach.”

Brewer said the church is working to change everything, services, non-service parts of the church, attitudes, from the ground up.

Lewis Heisch, chairman of the board, said part of the makeover is getting back on the road of the Restoration movement.

“We want to restore the practice of faith back to the New Testament, not a lot of tradition,” Brewer said.

Heisch said God has made it clear to the church they are on the right path.

“God’s really blessed us,” Heisch said. “As soon as we headed down this road, we paid off our $180,000 mortgage. When we started with what God wants us to be doing, he’s taken care of the rest.”

Heisch said Brewer is the first Restoration minister the church has had since the early 1990s.

To help with the process, Brewer said the church has performed demographic studies and visitor surveys.

Brewer said the most important focus for the makeover is bringing the church back to the scripture.

“We want to live and worship as the scripture says we should,” Brewer said.