Steve and Carol Fenchel
Steve Fenchel grew up in a Jewish home in Brooklyn, New York. His father, a deeply religious Jew, raised him in the Orthodox tradition. When Steve was 9 years old his father died and Steve became very angry with God. By the time he was 13 he began drinking and soon after that he started taking drugs. Always a people person and very outgoing, the dramatic changes in his life caused him to have severe psychological problems. Knowing he needed help, he searched for answers in Eastern religions and psychedelic drugs. By the time he was 26 he became reclusive, and for the next two years locked himself in a room.
Through a series of events he started to re-emerge on the streets of New York. One evening when he was leaving a Buddhist Temple in New York City, a Christian woman handed him a booklet with quotes from C S Lewis and the Bible. This small booklet and the sincerity of this Christian woman made a deep impression on him. As a result of this and contact with some recently converted friends, Steve gave his heart to the Lord and his life was dramatically turned around.
Carol was raised in an Italian Catholic home where she felt alone and misunderstood. At a very early age, Carol, like many of her generation, sought peace, love and freedom in the hippie movement of the late 60s. By the age of seventeen she was steeped in this culture and was heavily involved in the music, drugs and commune culture of that time. While living in a rural commune near Woodstock, New York she met Steve, who, just 3 weeks before had the encounter with Christ that changed his life. Through Steve’s influence and the witness of some other people in the “Jesus Movement” Carol too had an encounter with Jesus that led her to have a personal relationship with Him. Their lives radically changed, and together they embarked on their life journey of serving Jesus. Today Steve is an ordained pastor. Together they have been in ministry over 30 years. Steve and Carol are now working in New York City as missionaries and church planters with Chosen People Ministries. They have planted a growing congregation on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and are reaching out to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.”