OUR UNIQUE HISTORY
In 1999 Christian Life Center purchased the former Rialto Theater in downtown Leominster, Massachusetts, which was built in 1920. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the structure was converted into the city’s recreation building in the 1950‘s and later became the Y.M.C.A. in the 1970‘s. From sock hops to swimming lessons, the building holds cherished memories for thousands of area residents.
The church was originally birthed in 1989 when a group of seven believers, meeting for prayer and bible study, in West Boylston, Massachusetts decided to look for a pastor to help them begin a church. Rev. Steven Koroskenyi was chosen to become one of two copastors that started the church together. Growth came quickly and attendance was averaging over eighty people within six months.
When the campground chapel they were using became unavailable to use any longer, the church began a long journey of moving from place to place throughout the North Worcester County area meeting in thirteen different venues over the next nine years.
Among the many places the church used for it’s meetings was a high school auditorium, an oddfellows hall, a hotel, a driveway, the Bull Run restaurant, a state park, and a Knights of Columbus hall. For about a year the church could only meet on Sunday nights because it was using another congregation's building which was occupied on Sunday mornings.
Being in constant transition, the church lost and gained many people along the way, but the pastor kept preaching the gospel and people kept coming to Christ, nonetheless. A faithful remnant continued the work of the Lord, in spite of many discouragements, difficulties, and inconveniences.
In 1995 the church, with about forty people, came to Leominster, Massachusetts, changed it’s name from Heritage Christian Center to Christian Life Center and entered into a lease for a 4,000 sq. ft. building at 279 Lancaster Street. When the previous tenants needed some extra time to vacate the building, Rev. Koroskenyi decided to rent a big tent and the church held nightly revival services for a whole month at one of the busiest intersections in the city, and the church was victoriously reborn!
In 1998 the property at 279 Lancaster Street was sold to another party and the church went back to fasting and prayer for God’s direction.
In 1999, Rev. Koroskenyi approached the owner of the former Rialto Theater which had been on the market for several years. Knowing the owner was an accountant, the pastor took the unusual approach of asking the seller to make him an offer, saying, “I want to buy your building, but I don’t see how we can do it. If you can find a way for us to buy your building, we’ll do it.” The end result was a creative arrangement that enabled the church to buy this historic, prominent, 40,000 sq. ft. building complete with gymnasium, racquetball courts, swimming pool, and storefronts, located right on Main Street in the heart of the city’s downtown business district for only $225,000.00!
Today, there are about 125 people that call Christian Life Center their spiritual home, services average about 100 in attendance, the building is worth about $1 million, and renovations needed to complete the brand new sanctuary on the ground floor are about 75% complete.
From a small group of seven praying christians to being a congregation of over one hundred believers, Christian Life Center has grown the old fashioned way through preaching the gospel, loving people where they are, praying like crazy, believing that anything is possible, and never, ever, quitting.