Edwin Colon is the senior pastor of the Next Step Community Church Brooklyn. After years of involvement in a 12-step recovery program, Edwin accepted Christ, and along with his wife Liz, co-founded Next Step Community Church as a Bible study in his kitchen, reaching out to people who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction.
Sex, drugs, licentious living - are words that only begin to describe Edwin's life before Christ. After years of membership in a 12-Step program, Edwin remained abstinent but found himself empty still. He explored Buddhism and New Age philosophies but didn't know truth until he found Christ in 1995.
Alcoholic parents raised Liz, the youngest of seven children. Attendance at Catholic school had little effect on her. She, like her husband, knew nothing of God. Liz observed Edwin's example of a changed life and soon joined him in the Christian walk. After a while, the Lord put it on their hearts to start a home Bible study. The goal was to encourage fellow 12-steppers to find a relationship with Him.
The group eventually outgrew their home, bringing the study to various other spaces. Edwin attended the New York School of the Bible, under the teaching of Miguel Valentin, then a Missions Door church planter.
Learn more about where this ministry happens
In colorful communities and along scenic highways, diverse people and landscapes span coast to coast
Iconic American traditions include Thanksgiving dinner, jazz music and the Super Bowl. They meld with eclectic examples of multicultural heritage: numerous local Chinatowns, family-owned taquerias and even cowboy boots, which originated among the nomadic Huns of eastern Europe.
The nation's landscape shows just as many contrasts — sandy beaches and rocky coastlines, open plains and vast deserts, rugged mountains and winding canyons, and abundant rivers and lakes.
The ideals of life and liberty that founded the United States have made the country one of the world's most prosperous, though not without dark chapters and present troubles. Crime, discrimination and ethics violations make regular headlines, and many people live below the national poverty level.
Families view education as essential to the pursuit of happiness, if not also a path to wealth and power for the most ambitious. Yet Americans also demonstrate a charitable spirit of generosity toward neighbors and nations in need.
Freedom of religion grants opportunity for all faiths, but Christianity holds particular influence in country's history and daily life.
Your participation with Missions Door supports ministry in the United States among college students, including many international students, in collaboration local churches. It also enables social outreach, church planting and leadership development in a wide variety of communities — among Native Americans and other cultural groups, and in urban and suburban settings where growing and changing demographics create new opportunities for the Gospel.
Aside from the Native American, Native Hawaiian and Native Alaskan populations, nearly all Americans and their ancestors immigrated to the United States.
In a 2013 survey, 56% of Americans said that religion played a "very important role in their lives” — a larger number than any other wealthy nation.
Population: 320 million
Major Religions: 47% Protestant, 23% unaffiliated, 21% Catholic, 6% other
Languages: 82% English, 11% Spanish, various others
Ministry service area:
New York, United States