A Son, A Servant, A Steward

Church on the Street: Rev. Bryan Bywater  

Church on the Street: Rev. Bryan Bywater  

BRYAN BYWATER HAS A UNIQUE ministry to the homeless living on the streets in Hartford.   

Every Saturday, he meets them where they are at, on the streets, and they have a worship service. Their pews are the steps of Hartford City Hall. His altar is a folding table. But don’t be fooled, in a powerful way, the love of Christ is on display and those regularly forgotten are reminded that they are of value in God’s eyes and loved by Jesus. 

In a 2018, Hartford Courant published this article on Bryan’s ministry, 

Lisa Rodriguez offered this testimony in response to his ministry. “The little things Bryan does for us are big. This brings us closer to God. It helps us get motivated, and it helps take us out of darkness.”  Rodriguez adds, “We’re in bad situations, but it’ll pass.”   

Lisa has been homeless for about a year. She lost her job first, and her apartment second. She had no one to turn to, because those close to her were barely getting by. She was quick to point out that not everyone who is homeless is there because of mental illness or drug addiction. She said, “It’s a different situation for everybody.” 

At the time of the article, Rodriguez was working with a case manager to get housing, and she has plans to get her degree. 

I am excited for you to hear Bryan share his ministry with us on Sunday and challenge us from God’s Word. I am hopeful that it will open doors for us to join in his effort in caring for those who are in need. 

Here is a video that gives visual to what Bryan and his team of volunteers do every Saturday in the city of Hartford. 

Hartford Church Planter: Rev. Gary Knighton

Hartford Church Planter: Rev. Gary Knighton

PASTOR GARY KNIGHTON is a church planter and pastor of Faith Fellowship Church that meets on the campus of The University of Hartford.

This unique church plant targets college students and people from the surrounding community. Gary’s mission is to help students find meaningful community, live on mission, and prepare for a lifetime of disciple-making in the real world.

Why the University of Hartford?

  • Students from 46 states and 40 countries come here to prepare themselves to compete in a global economy.
  • To say that UHart is influential is an understatement. Even so, the need for the gospel is great!
  • Gary serves the university as their Protestant Chaplain and spear-heads campus ministries
  • Gary is also the lead pastor of a collegiate church plant started 6 years ago to serve students on campus.
  • Gary shepherds and equips these students for the work of ministry on campus and beyond.
  • Thousands of students have an opportunity to hear the gospel and experience the love of Christ.

We are excited for you to hear about what God is doing through a local church planter in our area.

Introducing Amirah

Introducing Amirah

The following blog post is adapted from an article written by Rick McKinniss, pastor of Wellspring Church in Kensington, CT.

AMIRAH IS A MULTI-FACETED aftercare organization for survivors of sex trafficking, providing residential, outreach, and education services. 

Amirah has recently set up a safe home for women who have been rescued from the sex trade.  This is a very exciting and needed step forward, providing a safe and secure place for the women to heal and re-establish themselves.

Amirah is a New England based ministry to women who have been rescued from the sex trade. They have operated a safe house north of Boston for several years and have now opened one in the Greater Hartford area. This will be the only one of its kind in the entire state of Connecticut.

The house is a beautiful older mansion that has been leased to Amirah to provide beds for 26 women, who will have a safe place to begin to put their lives back together. Several churches in the area have been involved in helping to establish this needed ministry in our area.

On Sunday, July 26, Michael Distefano, the director of Amirah Hartford, will be with us to share the ministry of Amirah with us. As part of our series, “Do Justice”, Michael will speak to the need for rescuing women from trafficking. 

This kind of ministry is incredibly difficult and costly. The women’s lives have been utterly fractured by their involvement in “the trade”. The work of healing and restoring trust, dignity and confidence, and training in a skill for a new way to earn a living is very painstaking and difficult. The love of Jesus is at the center of this restoration process, but it is more than a “come to Jesus moment” that is required for a life to be set free and put back together.

On a Kingdom measure, something very significant is accomplished when each one of these lives is restored. In the face of a great systemic cultural evil that is fueled by hell, each woman rescued and restored is a powerful witness in the face of cosmic evil. God is glorified and great grace is released to a culture whenever a systemic evil is addressed and overcome by good.