In July 2013, Steve and Linda Thiel moved their young family to Hartford, Connecticut, to plant a church. This followed years of prayer, preparation, connecting and fundraising.
And God has abundantly answered their prayers! The evangelical churches in Hartford have extended a warm welcome, offering preaching opportunities, people and funds. “We’re praising God for kingdom-minded churches willing to link arms” for the cause of the gospel.
God also provided a wonderful home in the center of nearby Windsor. Steve has been gathering his launch team, with “Meet the Pastor” nights, Bible studies, family fun days, and morning gatherings of the men already committed to this work. After nearly a year of recruiting, the group is up to 75 and growing. Christ Proclamation Church started preview services on September 21, 2014 and will officially launch on Sunday, October 5, 2014.
The Hartford Project Story
Steve is the first home-grown NETS planter. He came to faith at Christ Memorial, and left a promising career at IBM to serve the church as full-time youth minister. While working alongside NETS residents, his excitement for church planting and passion for souls in New England grew. Recognizing the need for greater theological training, Steve earned his MDiv through Southern Seminary in 2011. He then entered the NETS Residency Program.
The NETS Effect
Steve and Linda flourished under the mentorship of Wes, Sue, and Christ Memorial Church. And the NETS staff has blessed and is blessing them as well, preparing Steve’s prospectus and fundraising video and coordinating fundraising trips throughout the South. NETS also connected Steve to the largest evangelical church in Connecticut, which has committed to supporting both the family and the church. And we continue to support the Thiels financially, allowing Steve and Linda to devote their time to recruiting a solid core.