It's been labeled the "old church with the new vision." And now the Church of God in Newcomerstown has a new pastor. David R. Duncan from North Canton took over the role as pastor this past August.
"I fell in love with the people here. I put my name in (when they were looking for a new pastor) and here I am," Pastor Duncan said of his visit to the church when he was doing music ministries with his family.
He has been pastoring for the past 24 years in Ohio and the Syracuse, N.Y., areas.
But, this contemporary and charismatic church is what Pastor Duncan fell in love with.
"We have a lot of young families," Pastor Duncan said. Those young families have led the church council to remodel the nursery in the church as well as the bathrooms. But, they didn't stop there. They have remodeled the church parsonage, located next door to the church, which is now the church office and youth center. More plans for remodeling are also under way.
"We have a lot of vision and a lot of plans for this community," Pastor Duncan said.
As far as a short term goal, Pastor Duncan said he would like to have a youth pastor at the church for the children. By having a youth pastor, the church can offer tutoring and afterschool activities such as video games, play pool, etc.
"We want to make it a positive place for kids to hang out," Pastor Duncan said.
Church services are Sundays at 10 a.m. Right now, the congregation is about 50 people but just recently attendance jumped to 85.
Pastor Duncan said worship is contemporary with a worship band, video screen and multi-media teachings.
"It's relevant to the day we live in," he said. "Our vision is to serve the community any way we can."
Pastor Duncan lives in North Canton and drives a school bus when he's not at the church which is Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. He also has two daughters and one son. Eventually, he hopes to move to Newcomerstown.
The Church of God in Newcomerstown has been in the village for decades.
"It's been here and it's not going anywhere," he said. "It's still strong and we plan on continuing on for a long time."