Naugatuck Coffee House Spreads Gospel Message

NAUGATUCK – Rob Petro is a heavy metal enthusiast who loves plucking away at his bass almost as much as he loves Jesus.

He picked up a guitar one day when he was a teenager, and hasn’t put the instrument down since.

Petro, 47, is the newest member of Redeemed, a contemporary Christian rock band from Connecticut, and is the man behind Good Friday’s Coffee House at Naugatuck United Methodist Church.

Every Friday night he makes sure a Christian band is on stage in the church’s fellowship hall at 8 p.m.

The style of music varies, he said.

The coffee house began three years ago at the former pastor’s suggestion.

The pastor asked Petro to be in charge of the program, and though hesitant, he accepted.

“I got that feeling that God wanted me to do it,” he said. “People weren’t coming and supporting it at first, but finally people started to come and it’s already been three years.”Redeemed performs at the Good Friday Coffee House/Rebecca Newman - Creedible

He’s confident the program will continue to grow. Some weeks only a handful of people show up, other nights it’s a full house, he said. Some come for fellowship, others come because it’s something free to do on a Friday night, and others come as an alternative to going to bars, Petro explained.

Refreshments and coffee are served for free, though donations are accepted. And the band’s take donations too, often giving their earnings to charity, Petro said.

“No one’s here to make money,” he said.

His band, Reedemed, played at the coffee house on April 9. The band plays at Christian venues across the state, mixing vocals with horns, keyboard and guitar.

“We all played in local bands in those years gaining the experience of the world not realizing that the gifts bestowed to us were from our heavenly father and for a more important purpose. That is to share the word of the living God through music,” the band’s web site reads.

Petro said that’s pretty much the message of all bands who perform at the coffee house.

Rev. Steven Kim, pastor of Naugatuck UMC, said inviting the community to hear free Christian music is a vital part of the church’s mission.

“It’s a crucial part of our outreach ministry,” he said. “I’m very proud that we have this ministerial tool through which we can contact the community.”

Good Friday’s Coffee House, Kim said, is a weekly spiritual revival and hopes more people will check it out.

On Friday John and Allison DeSorbo, a country gospel group, will perform from 8 to 10 p.m.

For information on upcoming shows visit http://www.numcct.org/goodfridays.htm.

Check out more photos on our Flickr page.

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