ABOUT US

"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household" Eph. 2:19

About Us

KuzmanFam 400Ted Kuzma has been the minister for the New Smyrna Beach Church of Christ since March 1999. He and his wife, Becky, were married Christmas Day, December 25, 1969 while Ted was on Christmas leave in the Navy. They have two children.  Their 1st born is Timothy who was born in 1975 and is a police officer in Orlando, Florida. Their 2nd child is a daughter, Tiffany, born in 1982 who has 4 children and is a Financial Advisor for Edward Jones in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Ted was an atheist during his early Navy years from 1969 - 1975.  It was February 1974 when he became a believer and he and his wife were baptized in Collinswood, New Jersey. After his discharge from the Navy, they moved to Lubbock, Texas and Ted attended, then graduated from Sunset School of Preaching and the Missions Program. Ted preached full-time for a while but then was hired by IBM where he worked for 18 years as a Customer Engineer, then an Educational Writer, a Field Manager, and lastly as a Project Manager. Throughout his IBM career Ted helped various churches around the country where they lived by teaching/preaching part-time. In 1996 he left IBM and returned to full-time ministry.

To not burden the New Smyrna Beach Church of Christ with his salary and thus allow it to build a new church building, Ted returned to secular work in 2006 by becoming a Financial Advisor for Edward Jones Investments, but continued on as the minister in a voluntary capacity. The new church building was completed and the first Sunday services were held in it on September 11, 2011. The church continues to be free from having to pay a minister salary.

After graduating from the Sunset School of Preaching and the Sunset School of Missions, Ted also received a Bachelors Degree in Biblical Studies, a Masters Degree in Church Administration, Management, and Missions, and his Doctorate in Christian Family Counseling from the Theological University of America.   

Many people are hesitant to attend an unfamiliar church. To alleviate any apprehensions you may have, let us explain what you can expect when you visit the New Smyrna Beach Church of Christ.

Openness and Acceptance

We are ordinary people, not an elitist society of “holier-than-thou” separatists. We have problems, struggles and hang-ups like everybody else. We have come to believe that there is a God who loves us in spite of our imperfections and who, as we submit ourselves to him, recreates us from the inside out. Jesus made it clear that his followers were not to be judgmental toward others (Matthew 7:1-5). Therefore, we welcome everyone just as they are, inviting them to join us in our quest to know God and his will more perfectly.

Courtesy and Respect

At the New Smyrna Beach Church of Christ, you will be treated as an honored guest. You will not be singled out, put on the spot, asked for money or pressured to sign up for or join anything. You will be given the opportunity—at your own pace—to learn about God and the Bible and to participate with others in worship and fellowship activities.

Simplicity and Sincerity

Our service is simple and easy to understand. We don’t use a lot of churchy terminology, nor do we engage in confusing rituals. We offer the sincere expression of our hearts in worship without relying on special effects or “glitz”. Our music consists of “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,” offered with gratitude to God (Colossians 3:16). On Sunday, the Lord's Day, the congregation participates in the Lord’s Supper: eating bread and drinking fruit of the vine in memory of the death of Christ (Matthew 26:26-29). Following the example of the first-century church, we do this on the first day of every week (Acts 20:7). We take up a free-will offering in our services. This provides an opportunity for those who have committed themselves to membership to support the work of this congregation. We do not ask non-members to financially support our work, nor do we engage in fund raising activities beyond these offerings.

Salvation in Christ

In all of our messages, you will hear us proclaim that the way to have a relationship with God is through faith in Christ, as taught in the gospel (Romans 10:17). That faith leads a person through repentance (Luke 24:47) and confession of faith in Christ (Romans 10:9-10) to baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).

We Take the Bible Seriously

We make frequent reference to the Bible in our classes and sermons. We believe that the human authors of the Bible were inspired by the Holy Spirit, resulting in an authoritative message from God to humankind. The part of the Bible known as the Old Testament records thousands of years of God’s dealings with his people, providing a necessary backdrop for understanding his final revelation to us, the New Testament (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Romans 1:16). You will never be asked to accept what any person says about the Bible; we want you to read the Bible for yourself to see "whether those things are so" (Acts 17:11).
Visiting an unfamiliar congregation can be intimidating. Let’s take away the mystery so you know exactly what to expect.
  First, Relax.
You Are Among Friends. When you come through our doors, expect to be welcomed! Greeters will meet you as you come in, extend a warm handshake and answer any immediate questions you may have (such as "Where is a class for my children?" or "Where can we sit?") The greeters will also give you a welcome packet with lots of helpful information. We are glad you chose to visit us and we think you'll be glad too!
  A Setting for Worship
Worship services are held just inside the front door. Sit anywhere you feel comfortable. Before worship begins (9:30 am Morning Bible Study, 10:30 am Worship Service), there's a lot of "visiting" going on. That's because we are all part of a big, wonderful family! Many folks will talk to you and welcome you to our assembly. You are our honored guest!  And we will be glad to welcome you on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM for bible study.
  Tell Us About You
Worship services normally begin with a brief introduction and welcome. We will ask you to fill out our "Visitors Card". You will find them on the pew in front of you.  We use these cards as a means of communicating important things: prayer requests, updates on family members, Bible questions and visitor information. Yes, you are important to us!
  God’s Word
We regard the Bible as the inerrant (incapable of being wrong), inspired word of God! During our worship service, we will have a scripture reading. The scriptures represent the mind of the One who created the universe! We should give Him our respect! Second, the message from God's word is worthy of our attention. Listening to or following along in our own Bibles helps us focus our attention on the reading.
  Sing
Singing is a special opportunity to worship God. When we feel happy, we often sing! It's natural. It's no surprise then that God would want us to channel some of our worship through singing. If you want to follow along or don't know the words, just pick up a hymnal right in front of you. The song leader will give us the key and soon we are singing together. . . in harmony!. . .and we try to make it just as beautiful and joyful as we can! But what you won't hear are musical instruments. Frankly, we don't need them! But the reason we sing without instruments is not merely our preference. We want to worship God according to the New Testament pattern. And that pattern does not indicate that instrumental music was used or desired. Many visitors unfamiliar with "A Cappella" (an Italian term originally meaning “in the manner of the church” which has now come to popularly mean “without instrumental accompaniment”) music are deeply moved by this experience--it's all a part of God's plan! (cf. Eph. 5:19 Rom. 10:3)
  Pray
Prayer is our communication to God. While each Christian should pray often and in private, we, as a congregation, pray together. A man will walk to the front and speak a prayer. We all try to focus our attention on his words and make his prayer our own. We are commanded to pray for each other, so this prayer may include many specific names and circumstances. Prayer changes things!
  Preaching
Expect to hear a Bible-based sermon which will encourage faithful Christian living from our preacher, Ted Kuzma. You may notice that Ted is not given special religious titles such as "pastor" or "reverend," nor does he  wear any special garments to set them apart from others. That's because all Christians are viewed by God as "priests."  (1 Peter 2:9)
  Invitation
A sermon usually concludes with an invitation to respond personally to the message. One of congregational leaders will meet with everyone who responds and talk with them about their particular need.
  The Lord’s Supper
Each Sunday we follow the New Testament pattern by sharing the Lord's Supper. The unleavened bread and grape juice are each distributed throughout the assembly. The Lord's Supper or "communion" is a both solemn and joyful occasion. Jesus commanded that His followers observe this as a means to remember the price He paid for our sins. It is sad to think that Jesus had to suffer and die to redeem us. But it is wonderful to think that He loves each one of us that much! (cf. 1 Cor. 11:23-26)
  Giving
Giving is a way of expressing our gratitude for God's blessings. Each Christian should cheerfully give to support the works which God has directed. However, you--our guest--are not expected to give. As the collection basket comes to you, please just pass it along. (cf. 1 Cor. 16:1-2)
 Some Final Thoughts about Worship
The New Smyrna Beach church of Christ seeks to worship God according to Christ's command: "in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). To worship God "in spirit" requires that we come to God with a humble attitude, understanding that our salvation in Christ is not by our own righteousness or works, but by God's grace (Ephesians 2:8,9). We humbly come to God to worship Him, and He lifts us up (James 4:10) with the understanding of His love for all men through His Son Jesus (John 3:16) and the anticipation of being in Christ's presence for all eternity! (I Thessalonians 4:17, 18). Worshipping God at the New Smyrna Beach church of Christ is a humble celebration of the love we share in Christ and our anticipation of heaven!! Equally important is worshipping God "in truth." The New Testament gives specific commands, shows positive examples or implications of how the church worshipped God during the period of inspired guidance--the first century. Rather than trusting man-made ideas on how we should worship God, we trust God's word, the Bible, to provide the pattern of how we should worship Him. Worshipping God this way is refreshingly simple and clear. There is no need for great ceremony or the slickness of a stage show. Together, we - pray (I Timothy 2:1) - sing songs that teach the truth and encourage Christian living (Colossians 3:16) - are reminded of God's will for our lives as we hear the preaching of God's word (Acts 10:42) - give to help others and support the many works of the church (II Corinthians 9:7) - "break bread," (Acts 20:7) by partaking of the bread and grape juice, simply called the Lord's Supper (I Corinthians 11:20). Worshipping God in truth is truly a time of fellowship with God, His Son Jesus, His Holy Spirit and God’s children, the church. Worshipping God in spirit and in truth is a time we look forward to! It's a time of learning, spiritual growth and encouragement. It’s a time of peace and personal reflection. It's a time for receiving God's love and mercy.

Isn't it time you were there?

The church of Christ was established in New Smyrna Beach, Florida in 1936. The first meeting place was in a school building that has since burned down. Three years later in 1939, the church bought a small house at 670 Dora Street to use as a meeting house.

1 670 Dora Street

It's difficult to see in this old photo, but the sign on the house says, "CHURCH of CHRIST". Salvaged from those days is an old wooden box that used to hang at the Florida East Coast Railway station where the church used to put flyers for people to pick up and read about the church in New Smyrna Beach. The house still stands today as a private residence.

Nine years later in 1948, property was purchased on Magnolia Street, which at the time was the Main Street through town on which all traffic going North and South traveled. A new building was built and a dedication ceremony for the new building was conducted on September 26, 1948.

2 Magnolia Street

The church still has a transcript of the sermon in its files. Sometime later, a bypass (Dixie Freeway) was constructed around New Smyrna which is present day Route 1. An old cement street marker pillar from days gone by stands across the street from 303 Magnolia Street at Sides car lot.

In 1999 the church bought 12.5 acres of land on Old Mission Road just 1.5 miles South of Route 44. A sign was erected on the Old Mission Road property in 1999 and plans began to construct a new church building.

3 Mission Road Sign

On August 31, 2004, with anticipation of moving into a new church building, the church building at 303 Magnolia Street was sold to a local Realtor who turned the building into 3 office suites, using one of those suites as the Realty office. In October, the church vacated the building and began meeting temporarily at the chapel located in Baldwin's Funeral Home at 1 North Causeway, New Smyrna Beach, Florida 32169 until such time as we could move to the new facility.

Progress on our new facility seemed to be fraught with endless delays and problems. The church continued to persevere until September 29, 2010 when we finally were able to get the property annexed into the City of New Smyrna Beach and obtained a building permit to start construction. On Sunday, October 10, 2010 a ground breaking ceremony was held on the property with some of our members. The photo below was taken on that day. The Mayor of New Smyrna Beach, Adam Barringer, was present and spoke at the ground breaking ceremony. He is standing on the far right of the photo. Four of our longstanding members were chosen to hold the shovels and make the ceremonial ground breaking. From left to right they are Dean West, Jim Mize, Kat Essary, and Wendell Phillips. Wendell’s family was a part of the original congregation back in the 30’s and his father, Ralph Phillips and Charlie Robbins purchased the land that the church built on back in the 40’s.

4 Christmas 2007 097

The church continues to meet in the Baldwin Funeral Home chapel until construction is completed in the summer of 2011.

5 z049

We moved into our new building in 2011,. This picture was taken Sunday, March 13, 2011.

In the year 2000, Wendell Phillips, one of our long standing members prepared a list from memory of those who have served as ministers of the church from its inception. They are:

  • 1930's: Roy Brown -J.P. Prevatt
  • 1940's: Roy Osbourn - Earl Edge - Barry Anderson - Walter Henderson - Kenneth Plet? - Arthur Butler - Arthur Buffington
  • 1950's: E.L. Duncan - Mayhew Perry - W.W. Andrews
  • 1960's: H.M. Phillips - L.L. Shastain - Mayhew Perry
  • 1970's: Brother ? Lucas - Arthur Coggins
  • 1970's and 80's: Tom Brown - Leroy Potter - Charles Wilson
  • 1990 - 1994: Clay Shaw
  • 1994 - 1999: David Hall
  • 1999 - Present: Ted Kuzma
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