"Preaching and teaching the supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father in the power of the Holy Ghost"
" And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. " Acts 2:42-47
...Book by book, chapter by chapter, line upon line
Koinonia Fellowship began gathering on December 15, 1984 at Pudgies Pizza parlor where thirteen adults and six children sang some worship songs and then began studying the Book of Galatians. After two months it became very obvious that God's plan was entirely different from what anyone else had imagined. On February 1, 1985, after much prayer, Raymond Viola was ordained to be the pastor of this little flock, which corporately chose the name Koinonia, which means "to have in common", or "to share". Our common ground then and now is the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior.
As more people came, we expanded the Sunday school to a vacant nursery across the street, which was an answer to prayer. However, growing and groaning pains led us to seek the Lord in prayer for a new "pizza parlor" in which to worship. Our faithful God opened up the door for us at our second home on N. Winton Road where we rented from a Messianic Jewish Congregation. They met on Saturdays, and we met on Sundays. We began in our new home in an upstairs sanctuary, where our first service was held on September 1, 1988. We had grown from 13 adults to around 40 at this time. In this facility, the Lord added to the flock according to His will.
We have seen Him do tremendous things in our midst. In September 1995, we grew to an estimated 250 adults, and around 100 children. We went to two Sunday morning services and had Sunday evening and Wednesday evening services to minister to the entire family. There were home studies as well where the flock would gather for fellowship and the breaking of bread.
In December 1996, we once again moved into our third and current home at 500 Main Street in East Rochester. Today we have three Sunday morning services along with a Sunday evening and Wednesday evening services. We've wept, we've laughed, we've scratched our heads, as our Lord adds little by little.
Mission involvement is a big part of our church vision, both local or overseas. We have a strong missions commitment to India. The India Connection organization (indiaconnection.org) supports over 90 local churches in 16 northern Indian states. From our headquarters in Pune, India, we hold regular pastor's conferences and have founded the Koinonia School of Ministry and a free medical clinic. In 2012 we were blessed to open the Girls Home of Pune (facebook.com/girlshome), which provides a safe haven for 25 girls rescued from a life of abuse and neglect.
We prayerfully and financially support CompassCare Pregnancy Services locally as well as Camp Hickory Hill, a ministry that reaches out to boys and girls in a camp type atmosphere. Abroad we support Compassion International. We were privileged to send Pastor Chris and Kathy Terenzi to plant Southside Fellowship Abiding in Christ and Pastor Dan and Jackie to plant Living Water.
Our vision is to share the Word of God through teaching and music, whenever and wherever the Lord gives an opportunity. I am personally overwhelmed as I look back as our beginnings and see what the Lord has done. He has been faithful through thick and thin. He has blessed us with some of the best sheep, with servant hearts that anyone would relish having. Believe me, Koinonia hasn't arrived, we're still growing, but we are continually inspired by one simple truth - Jesus is coming back for us soon!