Former King of Kings Church Reboots and Goes Through a Revival

Dec 20, 2017
Photo by: David Biggy

A year ago, what was left of King of Kings Community Church was on the verge of collapse. The church building on Route 9 in Manahawkin needed some repairs. Most of its internal ministries had dissipated. What had been a congregation of many hundreds had dwindled down to some 35 hardy individuals.

“After (Superstorm) Sandy, King of Kings became so heavily focused on its service within the community – and that was a great thing – that it never got back to being the church it had been before,” said Pastor Bob Nash, who alongside Pastor Chris Sayre and several other leaders hit the reset button and since have developed what now is Main Street Alliance Church. “And once the impact of all that post-Sandy stuff finally diminished years later, things just continued to deteriorate. The church lost a lot of people. Most of its ministry programs went away. It was a really tough time for King of Kings.”

Fortunately, being part of The Christian and Missionary Alliance meant King of Kings had plenty of external support at its disposal, and much would be needed to get the church back on a solid path. But when Nash and Sayre – along with their wives, Valerie and Maranatha, as well as all their children – converged to take over the leadership roles of the congregation, what they found was a church mired in internal struggle as well.

“When I arrived, there was $400 in the church’s bank account,” Nash said. “We were blessed by many other Alliance churches as we began to rebuild and restore this church. Without them, this church would have died. But what we needed even more than resources was a new direction. Along the way, many people were hurt, and we, as a church, needed to repent and seek to heal the wounds that were left behind.”

As one leader in the church had written on a whiteboard in one of its rooms, the congregation needed to “relearn God’s purpose for His bride, the Church.”

“Somewhere in all that happened after Sandy, we lost our heart,” said Nash, who before taking over at Main Street Alliance was the senior pastor at Building On The Rock Church in Jackson. “We had to refocus our hearts on what God wanted for this church, and not what we wanted. And that’s what we’ve been doing for the past year.”

After temporarily shutting down the church’s operation, in February the old sign for King of Kings was removed – the leadership even held a “funeral service” for it, signifying the burial of a tumultuous recent past – and a new direction was implemented. At the outset, the welcome sign along Route 9 had a makeshift sign stating “Fresh Start” tacked to it. Still, the church needed a new name.

“We didn’t want it to be fancy, something with a wow factor,” said Valerie Nash. “We wanted something simple, something easy to understand, and Bob came up with the idea for the ‘church on Main Street.’ It was just the right name.”

Once Main Street Alliance became the new name, Nash and his crew got to work on redeveloping the church’s local mission, its direction as a ministry and the restructuring for its programs. Throughout the spring and summer, they continued to build on the mantra that discipleship, service and outreach were the hallmarks of that mission, and as the congregation again began to grow, more programs to equip its members for continued discipleship, service and outreach were spawned. As Christmas nears, Main Street Alliance typically has between 125 and 150 regulars attending its services.

“There’s life again,” Nash said excitedly. “Nothing’s done alone here. We have God doing His work through us, and we don’t want to forget what we’re about ever again. We always want to be focused on what we’re here for, what God calls us to do. And it all starts with Him, not us. It’s been an amazing year.”

And while the church is “open for business” and has a regular worship service schedule, Nash said a “grand opening” is planned for the spring – after it undergoes some finishing touches with regard to building redevelopment and repair, and the implementation of additional safety procedures, among other small details.

On Saturday, the church offers a dinner and service starting at 6 p.m. Worship service on Sunday morning starts at 11, and Wednesday evening at 6 is for “Family Night.” Friday evenings, starting at 8, are reserved for a “Coffee House.” The church also continues to provide a Spanish service held on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. For more about Main Street Alliance, visit msachurch.com.

— David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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