Church moves into new home

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  • PHOTOS BY JANET REDYKE Highlands Bible Church has taken up residence in the newly refurbished St. Thomas Episcopal Church.

  • Mr. and Mrs. Josh Barlow and baby Asher are in attendance at the Sunday June 11 service.

  • A beautiful welcoming sign invites many to the Highlands Bible Church.

The Highlands Bible Church conducted Sunday service June 11 in its new home, the now defunct St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Route 94. With the small church parking lot overflowing, helpful business neighbors graciously welcomed parishioners, new members and those curiously seeking to park in their lots as the warm summer day fostered warm and friendly feelings at the “new church”.

“It’s such an overwhelming feeling to be spreading the Good News of Jesus,” beamed member and church elder John Lisa of Highland Lakes, as he directed traffic in the parking lots.

Highlands Bible Church (HBC) is a church plant of the Green Pond Bible Church in Newfoundland.

“We had our first service on Easter Sunday 2016 at Cedar Mountain School,” clarified church’s pastor Michael Ruel Jr.

Pleased to finally have a permanent home, Rev. Ruel mentioned that many parishioners from Vernon are extremely happy to establish this church on a local level. Currently the church boasts of a congregation of 120 and counting.

Rev. Ruel holds a BA degree from William Paterson University and worked in publishing and technology for 15 years. He graduated from Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY and previously served as pastor of the Green Pond Bible Chapel form 2009 to January 2016. According to Rev. Ruel, the church and services are centered around the Bible and how it is relevant to today.

“The Gospel gives answers to the difficult things in daily life,” the clergyman said.

Answering the long- sought questions of the Vernon community, the historic St. Thomas Church building is remaining because of its historical landmark standing. The former Montessori school will be converted and function as the hikers’ hostel sometime in future. The basement area of the new church is a secure child area, serving the children’s ministry.

Rev. Ruel, along with his wife Melanie, who he refers to as his main cheerleader, the elders, deacons and the church’s support staff welcome all to the new church and its service held every Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m.

For additional information, call the church 973-764-7506 or visit the website

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