New local church looking to expand congregation, services
Officials at the new Pentecostal New Testament Church have many goals. They wish to bring more into their congregation, feed and clothe even more of the several hundred less fortunate they do each month, partner with other local churches — and even create area jobs.
The Pentecostal New Testament Church is on Pine Island Road in North Fort Myers “between the two 41s” and across from Southwest Truck Caps & Accessories. A lighted cross on what may seem like a tucked away building helps many find the location.
The church has several welcoming and dedicated officials, including Pastor Louis Daniels, Assistant Pastor Carlos Molina, Youth Pastor Mike Smith, Bishop Eddie Rewis and the Rev. Lew Frumoff.
They live in areas as far away as Chokoloskee and Immokalee, and as close as blocks away in North Fort Myers.
The church was started when Tina Marie Bourey, a 46-year-old woman and relative to two of the officials passed away unexpectedly. There is a memorial in her honor inside the church. She was related to two of the officials — cousin to Bishop Rewis and sister to Youth Pastor Mike Smith.
Rewis had been doing missionary work out of the country, in Haiti, Trinidad and Guyana for many years, until he felt a calling to come back to the U.S. “We were in a recession here, and I felt there was a lot more need in our own nation.”
He came home to officiate over the funeral of North Fort Myers resident Bourey. ” was asked to do my cousin’s funeral and my sister spotted this church for rent.”
After a week-long revival, they then opened the church.
Now they are doing a once a month Outreach Program the last Saturday of every month, where they provide hot food, clothing, bags of groceries and more to many, the homeless and what they term the less fortunate. “Last month, we fed 250 to 300 with the program,” said church member the Rev. Frumoff. “We also have a warehouse in Fort Myers full of food and clothing. Every Wednesday we have groups such as the Harry Chapin Food Bank come over and get supplies.”
The next outreach will be Saturday, Aug. 28, offering hot food, bags of food and haircuts from 2 to 6 p.m. There is no registration for anyone who could use the program, no I.D. or anything else involved.
For those who can’t get there readily, Assistant Pastor Molina said, “We have free transportation; we’ll go and get them.”
Someone will man the phone line from the church at all times, at times forwarding to their cell phones, that anyone in need can call, for the outreach, services or other need.
“The last outreach we partnered with six different churches and four different organizations,” Molina said.
They also partner with Cape Coral’s Love and Light Ministries Lucy Bonsanto-Wilson, who is known to do tremendous individual outreach to the homeless in the area, taking food and clothing into wooded areas and more to reach them.
“There are so many businesses as well as churches and organizations contributing to the effort,” she said. “It’s wonderful — people coming together for a common cause.”
“She is a joy to be around,” said Molina of Bonsanto-Wilson.
The group hopes to partner with many more area churches and organizations, anyone who wants to come out and help, and encourages those church officials to contact them.
Concerning creating jobs, the officials said they hope to get partnerships and donations to create new area businesses, such as a “Thrift Mart” — like a large retail chain mart, where food, clothing and other items can be purchased under one roof and employ many. Also, different area distribution centers with paid employees.
Youth services are also a priority. Youth Pastor Mike Smith is a popular pastor at the church, with wife Shellie Smith helping with Sunday School. “Everyone loves Pastor Mike. Faces light up when he is around,” said Molina.
“We do worship and counseling, and try to make it fun,” said Smith. “We do arts and crafts, a variety of other activities, and we hope to expand the Center.” All officials are working on grants and trying to secure donations not only to expand the youth area, but to buy the church outright as well.
Another key component is the prison ministries in which they participate. “We do two different prison ministries and a Bible Study. The recidivism or return rate for those in prison is estimated at 82 percent. Those involved with a prison ministry can be in a rate of as low as 18 percent,” Rev. Frumoff.
Church hours are Sunday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a Spanish Service from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., English Service 11 am. to 1 p.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday School. There is also a Youth Program on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., along with another regular service.
“We’re also hoping to have Sunday evening services in the future,” said Molina. “We welcome all denominations for worship, and those from any other church.”
They are not “Holy Rollers” as many like churches have portrayed in the past, officials said. They are just there just for worship and support.
The Pentecostal New Testament Church is located at 247 Pine Island Rd.
Call 333-9419 for more information on services, donations, outreach or church partnerships.