New Beginnins in Christ Church recently moved into the Czaplewski Funeral Home chapel in Brownsdale. Its membership is growing, and welcoming even more people. Matt Peterson/
New Beginnins in Christ Church recently moved into the Czaplewski Funeral Home chapel in Brownsdale. Its membership is growing, and welcoming even more people. Matt Peterson/

Archived Story

Congregation finds new home

Published 11:23am Friday, December 27, 2013

Several years ago, a few families met in an Austin couple’s home to talk about God. That was church.

In just the past month, that growing group known as New Beginnings in Christ Church has taken another step, as it moved from its space inside a trucking company’s building to a chapel inside Czplewski Funeral Home in Brownsdale. What went from a few families has gone to nearly 30 people who regularly attend church, and as many as 50 on a recent Sunday.

Ronda Hinck of Waltham heard about the congregation a while back, and now she is one of those regular members. The non-denominational church offered something intriguing.

“I found out about it from one of the members,” Ronda said. “He used to bring his dog to my boarding facility. He gave me a postcard, and every time he brought his dog in he would say, ‘you know, it’s right down the road. It’s at nine o’ clock.’”

Hinck didn’t know other members well, but now she is part of the church family, a group of people who were all looking for the spiritual guidance they apparently weren’t receiving.

“All the members had gone to traditional churches and were not receiving what they needed spiritually,” Hinck said.

That’s how the church started in an Austin couple’s living room several years ago. Pastor Jim Beyer, his wife, Sue, and a couple families met in the Sabin home for service.

“We started meeting in our home right here in Austin,” said Steve Sabin. “And then even while we were meeting here we were on the lookout for a building or some rooms we could rent to hold service in.”

A member who works in Brownsdale helped the growing congregation obtain more space from an acquaintance with a nearby trucking company off of Interstate 90 and Highway 56. For several years, the congregation served in that space until it again needed more space. There were too many people — for the space, that is. More souls are always welcome.

“People are telling their friends about what we do and how we do it, and they’re coming to take a look and see what we’re about,” Sabin said.

The space inside Czaplewski already had an altar and space for a congregation. Not that it matters where people of faith serve, but the setting feels a little more like a church. Members are grateful the Czaplewskis were willing to allow the group to use the facility.

“It’s really working out,” Sabin said. “I’m very pleased that we are able to make these arrangements with Mr. Czaplewski.”

New Beginnings in Christ is a mission-based church. Its members focus on helping the community.

“We are a mission church,” Sabin said. “We are not affiliated with any major denomination. We give to such things as boys and girls clubs, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House, Hope Lodge in Rochester; we give to Rachel’s Hope here in Austin, and we give to a lot of individuals.”

On the spiritual side of things, there is no shortage of faith.

“They are true, these people,” Hinck added.

New Beginnings is in the midst of its own new beginning, as the congregation has only been in its new place for about a month. The group pays its way for the use of the space, but money is an afterthought. Even the pastor donates his time for services.

“There are no salaries paid in our church,” Sabin said.

No collection plate circles the church on Sundays; members can simply give what they want, when they want.

Furthermore, those who have concerns or new ideas for the group can offer their opinions at the church’s council meetings. Really, though, the mission is quite simple, which is reflected in the motto: “Helping people to grow in their Christian faith through prayer, worship, missions and song.”

Though it may be difficult for some to approach a new church just to check it out, that’s what members at New Beginnings expect. New Beginnings is located at 302 Market St. S in Brownsdale. For more information, people may contact the church at 507-533-4962.

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