Wintonbury | Our Story
On April 13, 1958, nine people from Bethel Baptist Church of Hartford began praying to start a new church in Bloomfield. They surveyed the town and found four hundred people who said they were willing to come and visit a new Baptist church in town. Encouraged by that response, the group made plans for a church start. On September 7, that same year, the first public worship service of Wintonbury was held in the Masonic Hall with seventeen in attendance.
In 1960, the property at 54 Maple Avenue was purchased and in 1961, the church hired Pastor Olsen. Wintonbury grew slowly but then began to experience sagging attendance and financial support in the early 70's.
Holding to the vision and hope of God's plans for Wintonbury, the church body took a step of faith by hiring a newly graduated, 25-year-old pastor from Dallas Theological Seminary – Rich Ainsworth. Believing that God was calling them to this area, Rich, and his wife Kathy, took their own step of faith by accepting a $100 per week salary and moving from Texas to Bloomfield, CT.
By God's grace, Wintonbury grew steadily under Rich’s leadership, and faithfully provided additional staff - including Associate Pastor, André Riendeau - and campus expansion to meet the needs of the growing congregation. Over the years, Wintonbury, out of a passion for seeing many come to know Jesus as their Savior, developed strong relationships with the Bloomfield and Greater Hartford communities, local and regional churches and our missionaries located throughout the world.
In 2012, André Riendeau assumed the role of Wintonbury's Lead Pastor and in 2013, after 40 years of service, Rich Ainsworth retired. Wintonbury continues to grow and seek to be "kingdom-focused" in all it does. National initiatives such as Iron Sharpens Iron, and regional initiatives including The Hartford Project and The Underground all began here and continue to impact the world for Christ. We are continually grateful for God's faithfulness to Wintonbury and are honored to serve Him for as long as He sees fit!