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Devotion, congregation rising at Crossroads.

Byline: Amanda Roberge

LEOMINSTER - There are times in life when people find themselves at a crossroads, and quite often there is a choice to be made.

For the Rev. Bryan A. Tomes and the parishioners at Crossroads Community Church, the choice is clear: Choose God. And it has never been easier to make that choice, as Rev. Tomes and his colleagues and friends make the next step into Leominster, expanding to a second location at 375 Harvard St. next to Morningstar Christian Bookstore, that will make the powerful and dynamic worship service available and accessible to those for whom Fitchburg is just a touch too far.

"Having a place to worship in Leominster gives us the opportunity to reach even more people," Rev. Tomes said.

The 6 p.m. Sunday service in Leominster complements the existing 9 and 11 a.m. Sunday services at the Fitchburg location at 839 Ashby State Road.

"We're a family church," Rev. Tomes said, adding that they follow the definition of family set forth in the Bible: a man, a woman and their children. When the folks at Crossroads see members of their congregation following a path they deem immoral, they fully intend to encourage them to find their way. "We try to meet people where they're at, but we're going to help them make it right," he said.

It is this set of righteous core values that makes Crossroads the popular church it has become, and according to head usher Jay Blanchard, Rev. Tomes deserves the lion's share of the credit.

"He's an amazing preacher," Mr. Blanchard said. "He has a way of putting the Bible in a way that helps people to understand."

The Crossroads Community Church, formerly known as the Fitchburg Assembly of God, has grown exponentially since Rev. Tomes took the pulpit. With the church growing from 60 to well over 250 members, Rev. Tomes is proud of how the community has grown not only in size but in devotion.

"We're thriving," he said. "Just by looking to help people find purpose and meaning."

According to Rev. Tomes and Mr. Blanchard, the church is especially proud of its musical offerings, including a contemporary band and chorus.

Having come from a past riddled with drug abuse, Rev. Tomes began to find his own way in his late 20s and went on to Zion Bible College in Haverhill and then did extensive work in outreach programs for drug-addicted teens while he "waited on the Lord."

Rev. Tomes continues to promote the growth of such programs, in addition to whatever the members of his church struggle with, from fidelity to finances.

"We can't fix a marriage that's broken, but when you apply biblical principals to that marriage, God blesses you," Rev. Tomes said. "I'm just a bridge for people to get to God."

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CUTLINE: The Rev. Bryan A. Tomes poses at Crossroads Community Church in Fitchburg, which is expanding to a second location in Leominster.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jan 13, 2011
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