Art Kohl as born Feb. 26, 1957 in Lackawanna, NY. He has been a native Western New Yorker all of his life. He was born to George and Helen Kohl and has two older brothers, George and Dave.
Helen died when Art was 4 years old. His dad remarried a year later and the family moved from Arthur Ave. in Blasdell to a farm in Orchard Park. (Yes, Art is named after Arthur Ave. in Blasdell!)
Art attended Orchard Park schools from K-12th grade. He then went into the US Army from 1975-1978 and discharged honorably as a specialist 4th class. He served in South Korea and Germany with a Top Secret Special Intelligence Clearance, working in the signal corp.
Pastor Kohl’s dad, George, received Jesus Christ as his Savior in 1968 through the witness of two faithful Christian men at his place of work. A year later, burdened for his 3 sons, he took them to the West Falls Bible Church were Art received Jesus Christ as his Savior in November 1969 under the preaching of Pastor Bob Aszbach. George and Dave also came to know Christ as Saviour around that time.
Art served the Lord in his teen years, but turned his back on the Lord during the Army years. He repented and rededicated his life to Christ at a Missions Conference in Lancaster, PA, in March of 1979. A year later at a Pastor’s School in Indiana he came under the leadership to the Holy Spirit in his life and surrendered his life to the Lord and whatever God wanted him to do. He was farmer at the time, but it was God’s will for him to become a Pastor.
It was also during this time that he met the love of his life, Leslie Thompson, at the West Falls Bible Church on Sunday, November 12, 1978. They were married 10 months later on Sept. 15, 1979. The Lord gave them three children: Rebekah, (‘82); Stephen (’83) and Rachel (’85). Rachel and Rebekah are married to fine young men.
In January 1980, Art and Leslie began to attend an Independent Baptist Church in North Evans, NY. It was there Art had the opportunity to preach his first sermon. They also had many ministry opportunities, and served there for 3 years until – due to difficult circumstances – the church closed down.
A few families that had previously attended that church asked Art to be their Pastor. This was the beginning of the Faith Bible Baptist Church of Eden, NY. They had their first service on March 13, 1983.
After 25 years of pastoring at FBBC in Eden, Art had a burden to start a church in the town of Evans where his family has lived since 1980. In Nov. 2008 the Hilltop Baptist Church (formerly Evans Chapel) had its first service. (See history)
Pastor Kohl loves God, the Bible and people, and tries to connect them together with every sermon, lesson or counsel that he gives. He hopes to be the Senior Pastor of Hilltop Baptist Church until he turns 70 in 2027 or as long as God will let him. One of his favorite Bible verses is 2 Corinthians 5:15 which says, “And that He [Christ] died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him that died for them, and rose again.”