top of page

The Thorn Family

The Thorns have been married for nearly 12 years and have a passion for ministry in rural areas where church decline continues even as numbers still reflect high amounts of believers in these communities. To them, it became obvious, the issue isn't with Jesus, it's with how the institutionalized church is doing church.


Because of this, through much prayer and discussion, the idea for the Underground Church was born. 

The Arbor &
The Underground Church

The Arbor is a small church plant in New Cumberland, WV sponsored by

Cornerstone Christian Community in Pittsburgh, Pa & City on the Hills Church Network.

It began under the direction of Rev. Charles Thomas, a former resident and the former Pastor of the New Cumberland Free Methodist Church before its eventual closure.  Rev. Thomas re-launched the Arbor under its new identity, and began a food distribution there while running it as an outreach of the Rochester Free Methodist Church of Rochester, Pa. 


In 2021, Rev. Thomas passed the torch to Pastor Jennifer Thorn, and in 2023 Pastor Jennifer came under the umbrella of the City on the Hills network to expand this ministry with the work of the Underground Church Network. 

The inspiration for Underground church came from a few different places. The first is from scripture itself, particularly the passages within Luke 15, but it was also inspired by the early church and the underground churches around the world. These churches don't look like Western churches with their tall towers and steeples, they instead meet in homes, basements, and storage rooms behind small stores. They don't meet for an hour and leave, instead they throw themselves whole heartedly into the worship and fellowship that can last all day.  

 These ideas, and a desire to create a place for people who don't feel welcome or comfortable in the traditional Sunday church combined to create the idea for the "Underground Church Network." 

What is the Underground Church 
& How does it work?

The Underground church is a place for those who don't feel comfortable or welcome in traditional church setting.

Instead of meeting in the typical church building on Sunday mornings, the Underground church meets for picnic lunches in small groups (capped @ 12) to have discussion, bible study & games. They meet for hikes, & community service. They meet at homes for bonfires, cornhole, darts, music, and fellowship. They don't meet on Sunday mornings, instead they meet mid-day or evening.

The Underground Church is unconventional to meet the needs of a generation of people in the rural communities who identify as Christians, or believers but don't fit the mold of the traditional Sunday Church or that due to their jobs can't attend church on Sundays. But it's also for those searching to know God, but are too afraid to come to a conventional service.

Maybe it's for you too...



I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.

Subject: Arbor & Underground Church

If you feel led to support the Thorn's on their mission you there are 4 different ways you can:

      1. Through providing locations

      2. Providing supplies

      3.Financial Support *



       *by the link below, or check by mail to Cornerstone (indicate Thorns in memo line) 

If making a financial gift online: the amount.

2. select the 'envelope' to ensure it goes to the right location.

3. determine whether the the gift amount is recurring, if so be sure to click that button!

4. review details and submit!

bottom of page