The Worship Center was founded in 1986 by Rev. Mark A. Santostefano and his wife Judy, along with a group of about 25 people who desired to start a church centered on the Triune God, as expressed in the person and personality of Jesus Christ.
As a small group of believers, we were drawn together by a common vision and joy of worshipping Jesus and getting to know him. In those early days, we really didn’t know what we were doing. All we knew was that we just enjoyed meeting with each other in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and we witnessed God moving among us in that reality. The Lord’s joy was very contagious, and our lives became so affected by Him that meeting in our homes was getting difficult. We needed an affordable solution.
That same year, we found accommodations in the basement of a medical building in Marlborough, CT. With Pastor Mark’s solid foundation in the Word of God, and with the life-changing presence of Christ, and the Holy Spirit working among us, TWC outgrew the medical facility within two years time, as young people and families came streaming in hungry for God.
In 1989 TWC was invited to hold it’s Sunday services at Patti Dunne’s School of Gymnastics in nearby Hebron. It was during this time that TWC experienced a huge explosion and had to accommodate three Sunday services, due in part to our deep involvement with campus ministries at nearby college universities UConn, ECSU, Wesleyan and others. Meanwhile, our weekly home gatherings grew to cover numerous localities as far away as New Britain, Manchester, Glastonbury, Tolland and others. Many were drawn in through those inlets, as God continued to change lives and people built wonderful relationships and ministries with each other. Yet again, we outgrew Patti Dunne’s and had to move on, though our headquarters remained at Pendleton Drive. Patti Dunne herself remains a loyal member and strong faithful supporter of TWC to this day.
In 1999, we began holding Sunday services in the auditorium at the old RHAM High School, and this move adversely affected our Sunday gatherings, no fault of anyone’s; space and usage there was limited and services were forced down to one AM Sunday service. Yet we continued to meet outside in our weekly home gatherings to seek God, who faithfully watches over us. Changes happen. Churches have lives and their stories are as real as people. We had to learn the lessons of maturity in Christ; love hopes and bares and endures all things. There will always be trials in life to test that.
The old school was eventually torn down, and in 2005 that event transferred TWC to the town’s newly-built RHAM High School, where we currently hold our Sunday morning services. Once we settled in we had another resurgence of growth. Subsequently, we moved our headquarters to its current location, Timothy Hall at 39 Prentice Hill Road in Hebron, so named after Timothy Casey, another long-standing TWC member who graciously offered to rent us a facility belonging to him.
Our pastor meets regularly with area clergy to pray for their congregations and communities. The Worship Center participates in various church ecumenical gatherings and seasonal events, such as the town’s annual Maple and Hebron Harvest festivals, and also serves through outreach. God is now doing new things in our midst, as the expressions of Christ move here afresh among our youth and the new families that join us. But we cannot remain in the school’s facility. In order to move further into the future, we need to establish a more obvious presence in Hebron soon, a permanent meeting place, a home of our very own.
Back in 1997, a TWC member named Mary Florence Boucher donated 11 acres of her land at 99 Marjorie Circle. Florence and her husband had always dreamed having a church on their property, “a place where Jesus would be worshipped for generations”. They have both since passed on to “the greater more perfect sanctuary”. Meanwhile, we’re developing blueprint plans to build our sanctuary at the top of the hill, so that we can continue the legacy of Jesus Christ in Hebron, expressed through the uniqueness of TWC. It’s our desire to serve our community in a greater capacity, and so advance God’s Kingdom and worship him there for generations to come. Please join us on our journey!
For photos of our progress, please go to our Building Project website.