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A Concise History of Community Covenant Church

December 7, 2020 | Gregg Caruso

Overview: CCC is a fifty-year-old congregation with roots in the charismatic renewal. In 2000 the church shifted to the Purpose Driven Model and in 2002 became one of the early hosting sites for the Global Leadership, which continues to the present. CCC has attracted (and continues to attract) people from a wide range of Christian faith backgrounds. Currently, approximately 50% come from an Evangelical background, approximately 15% from “Other Protestant, 25% have a Catholic background, and 10% from a Charismatic background.

  • 1970 – Joe Pardini opened The Christian Gift and Bookstore on Bank Street in downtown Attleboro. (Current attender Geri Boyes managed the bookstore.) Joe read and was deeply affected by the book “Nine O’clock in the Morning” by Episcopalian Priest Dennis Bennett about the Charismatic Renewal that was sweeping through many mainline churches and denominations around the world.
  • 1971 – A core group began meeting in Joe’s living room every Friday night about a mile and a half from our current location, seeking God for a greater understanding of the gifts and working of the Holy Spirit. At the time most attenders were still attending a Baptist church on Sundays.
  • Later that year a decision was made to become a church (Faith Bible Chapel) and started meeting on Sundays in Attleboro. The church was led by a plurality of elders who shared responsibilities for teaching on Sundays; Joe was the primary preacher.
  • During this time Dennis Baril and the team from the Ark Coffeehouse that met in Pawtucket become a part of the team. Somewhere in this time frame Dennis was appointed an elder and led the youth group and coffeehouse ministries.
  • In these early days there was a loose association with Christian Growth Ministries which became noted for its teaching on prayer, spiritual warfare, worship, discipleship, family life, church structure, etc. that served a diverse set of streams within the charismatic movement and larger body of Christ.
  • Within 2 the fledgling church outgrew the clubhouse at about 80 people—adults and children.
  • The church purchased a 16-acre property in Norton, MA, a mile from the center toward Taunton on Rt. 140.
  • A church building was built on the back of a large garage/barn and the Ark Coffeehouse was relocated to the basement of the new building. The Ark became the longest running Christian coffeehouse in New England at the time (about 14 years). A 24-unit housing complex was also on the property, which is still providing comfortable living for the elderly to this day.
  • In 1983 the Elders brought in a full-time Sr. Pastor. The first was Tom Gossett, from Indian Trails Missions in Arizona. The second was Dave Hannon, who drove-up from Plainfield, NJ every two weeks to teach. After about two years Dennis Baril sensed a call to leave his position as a national account manager with AT&T and was named Senior Pastor on Sept. 30, 1988.
  • In 1986 the church sold the Norton property and moved closer to where most congregants lived in the Pawtucket area.
  • The Church met in the Hyman Fine Elementary School on Oak Hill Ave. in Attleboro until the current property was purchased a couple of years later. The current facility was constructed and in 1990 the church began holding services in what is now the café area, and changed the name to Community Covenant Church.
  • Over the next decade, the church was enlarged to serve growing needs with the addition of the Worship Center and extensive renovations to the first floor and basement.
  • In March 2000 CCC shifted away from an active charismatic renewal focus to a Purpose Driven Life focus.
  • CCC was named a recipient of the 2004 Church Health Award by Purpose Driven, the church leadership affiliated with the ministry of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA and was one of 80 churches worldwide honored with the award, which was presented during the annual Purpose Driven Church Conference.
  • CCC then became one of the early host sites for the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) in 2002.
  • 2005 – We became intentional about serving the community through some specific projects, including:
    • Boys & Girls Club of Taunton, Taunton, MA – November 2005
    • Greenlock Therapeutic Riding Center, Rehoboth, MA – October 2007, 2008, & 2011
    • Camp Finberg, Norton, MA – October 2008
    • Old Colony Rest Home, Attleboro, MA – September 2009
  • The Bono interview at the GLS in 2006 inspired our ongoing work in Haiti – including economic development, 2010 earthquake relief, and the founding of Teachers Training Teachers.
  • Dennis Baril retired as Senior Pastor in 2015 and Brandon Lemois became the Lead Pastor that same year.
  • Brendon Lemois resigned in May 2019 and Gregg Caruso, a Managing Partner with VitalChurch Ministry, became the Intentional Interim Pastor on Sept 1, 2019.

A Supplemental History of Rehoboth MA

Rehoboth was established in 1643, originally by Walter Palmer (born 1585) and William Sabin, it was incorporated in 1645, one of the earliest Massachusetts towns to incorporate. The town is named for the Hebrew word for “enlargement,” (broad places) signifying the space settlers enjoyed (God has given us room).

Early Rehoboth, known as “Old Rehoboth,” included all of what is now Seekonk, Massachusetts, and East Providence, Rhode Island, as well as parts of the nearby communities of Attleboro, North Attleborough, Swansea, and Somerset in Massachusetts, and Barrington, Bristol, Warren, Pawtucket, Cumberland, and Woonsocket in Rhode Island. CCC still draws people from all of the above-mentioned towns.

Rehoboth – rachab; a prim. root; to be or grow wide or large.  Rechoboth or רְחֹבֹת Rechoboth; from 7337; “broad places,” a well dug by Isaac, also two cities of unc. Location.

  • Gen 26:22b: “…So he named it Rehoboth, for he said, ‘At last the Lord has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.’”
  • 1 Chron 1:48: “When Samlah died, Shaul of Rehoboth by the River became king in his place.”
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