Tag Archives: Churches in Queens

Hope Church NYC Launches This Sunday, September 23rd

It’s hard to believe that September 23rd is finally here.  After months of wrestling with God about what our next steps were, Tina and I came to the conclusion that God was calling us to stay in NYC and plant a church in Astoria, NY.

Less than one year later, Hope Church NYC officially launches.  I am so humbled and grateful as this church planting project is born.


As we head into this Sunday, I wanted to recognize some folks whom God has graciously allowed to have a hand in planting Hope.

1)  Tina and Our Son David – This has been an unbelievable season for our family, and one that has taken precedence over what’s happened at Hope.  David has been such a gift, and Tina has been the best mom and wife I could have ever asked for.

My wife and son have been a gift from God.

With all the stresses of a newborn and a new church, Tina has been a steady and faithful rock throughout the process, even putting up with my shenanigans with good-spirited aplomb.

And David has been a true champ.  I love these two!

2) Launch Team –  What makes a church is the people, and Hope is full of some incredible people.  I can’t thank these folks enough for their commitment, their volunteering, and most of all, their presence!

There have been some funny, “that’s church planting” moments for sure, but I’m so grateful for the willingness to go with the flow as we’ve had so many stops/starts & twists/turns.

This community has also shown me so much grace through my own mistakes – many of which have been painful but necessary to see.

Launch team and new regular attenders – thanks so much for being part of what’s happening at Hope!

PS Special shout-out to our other pastoral staffers – Craig Okpala and Joe Longarino.  Studs.

3) The Evangelical Covenant Church – It’s been such a joy to be part of a larger movement, and the Evangelical Covenant Church has been super supportive and encouraging throughout.  Jason Condon, the Director of Church Planting for the East Coast Conference of the ECC, has been so helpful and insightful in this process, and learning alongside other church planters in NYC, NJ, and New England has challenged and encouraged me in so many ways.

We’re so lucky to be part of this family of churches!

4) Family and Friends who have Supported Hope – So many friends and family have supported this church plant with their prayers and their financial support, and it’s been so humbling to hear stories of people fasting and praying on our behalf, while others have given sacrificially so that we could launch.

Seriously humbled by all these folks who are literally all around the world. Thank you so much for your friendship, mentorship, and generosity.

And a very special thanks to the Hyun and Park families.  Tina and I are so, so grateful for you and your support.

5) New Life Fellowship – I’m so grateful for all the friendships I’ve made at New Life over the years, and the incredible people I’ve learned so much from. Obviously Pete and Geri Scazzero have had a significant part in that journey, and I’m so, so grateful for all they have deposited in me over the years.

I wouldn’t be the person I am today without New Life, and Hope wouldn’t be the kind of church that it is without New Life.

6) Other churches in NYC – There have been so many pastors who have voiced their support of what we’re doing, and to know we stand side-by-side with so many churches is an amazing feeling.

There’s something stirring in NYC…


Churches in NYC

UPDATED: Saturday, November 26th, 2011

I often get asked about churches in the NYC area, and I thought it’d be helpful to compile a list of churches that I’d recommend.

Now, keep in mind that I have not visited all of these churches – I simply know people who are in leadership (or attend), OR I’ve worked with them in the past in some capacity.

Each local church is different in its own way, which I think is really cool.

If you’d like specific details about a church, please feel free to email me (e.g. worship styles, etc).

This is not an exhaustive list by ANY means, so if you know of any other churches you’d recommend, please feel free to comment!

**Also, this list is primarily for people who are moving to NYC (or moving within NYC) and looking for a church community.  If you’re committed somewhere, I’d encourage you to remain committed there, and if you have inclinations to leave, please begin processing with someone in leadership at the church.

Borough – Queens

1. Hope Church NYC – (Astoria, NY)A new church plant that we’re starting in 2012.  We’d love for you to take part!  Lord-willing, we’ll be an honest, diverse community that’s experiencing and inspiring hope everywhere.   http://www.hopechurchnyc.org

2.  New Life Fellowship (Elmhurst, NY) – An incredible church that I’d highly recommend.  I worked here for ten years! http://www.newlifefellowship.org

3.  Christ Tabernacle (Glendale, NY) – I’ve really had a chance to get to know some of their leaders in the past year – notably Ariel Nieves, Pastor Adam Durso, and their Senior Pastor, Michael Durso.  This group has been extremely hospitable, kind, and God-centered.  I look forward to more partnerships with CT. http://www.christtabernacle.org/

4.  The Greater Allen AME Cathedral of NY (Jamaica, NY) – Allen is a historic church that’s done immense work to impact an entire community.  The  Honorable Reverend Floyd Flake is the Pastor, and his wife, Reverend Elaine Flake, is the Co-Pastor.  I’m hoping to connect with some of the leaders there more often.  http://www.allencathedral.org/

5.  Queenswest Church (LIC, NY) – I know their lead pastor, James Kim, from seminary, and we’ve had a few good conversations.  He’s one of the warmest pastors I know. http://www.qnswest.org

6.  Bethel Gospel Tabernacle (Jamaica, NY) – I had an opportunity to have a fortuitous breakfast with Pastor Roderick Caesar (and a few others) one morning.  I was so blessed by his thoughtfulness, humility, and commitment to God’s work in the city and around the world. http://bgtfi.us/

7.  Living Faith Community Church (LFCC) (Flushing, NY) – A close pastor friend, Peter Ong, is a pastor at LFCC.  Peter’s a tremendous guy, and I’ve met some folks from LFCC throughout the years.  Pastor Stephen Ro is the senior pastor, and we’ve had brief, but positive interactions.   http://www.lfcc.net/

Borough – Brooklyn

1.  Clarendon Road Church (Southeast of Prospect Park) – I’ve never visited the church, but their senior leader, Pastor Charles Galbreath, is a stellar leader and speaker.  He recently started at Clarendon! http://clarendonroadchurch.org/

2.  Resurrection Church of NY (Brooklyn, NY) – One of my good pastor friends, Kristian Hernandez, is a leader on staff with a ton of responsibilities at the church.  I’m a big fan of Kristian’s, and so automatically, I’m a fan of their church.  Pastor Joseph Mattera is the senior leader.  http://www.resurrectionchurchofny.com/

3.  Christian Cultural Center (Canarsie, NY) – We had Rev. AR Bernard come speak to NLF’s leadership a few years ago, and it was so great to learn from his wisdom and experiences.  CCC, and Rev. Bernard, have also had an enormous impact on their community and the city.  http://cccinfo.org/

The Bronx

1.  Promised Land Covenant Church – I recently met with Michael Carrion, the lead pastor at PLCC, and this is a thriving, growing church in the South Bronx that is serving the community in so many powerful ways.  I love the church’s diversity and service to the poor and marginalized. http://www.promisedlandcovenantchurch.com/


1.  Redeemer Presbyterian Church – Redeemer has sites all throughout Manhattan, and their church-planting network is quite extensive (I’d recommend any of their church plants simply because I know they’re affiliated with Redeemer).  Tim Keller is the senior leader, and I’ve been greatly influenced by him and his preaching.  Tim also came to NLF a few years ago to speak to our leaders, and he gave a memorable talk and q & a session.  Of their pastoral staff, I know Abe Cho and Mike Keller, both exceptional people.  Redeemer just named four new lead pastors, so it’s cool to hear that they’re planning ahead.  http://www.redeemer.com

2.  Times Square Church (Times Square, NY) – Tina used to attend Times Square, and she loved it there, particularly the Tuesday and Sunday prayer and worship experiences.  The senior pastor is Carter Conlon, and the founding pastor is David Wilkerson.  http://www.tscnyc.org/

3.  OCM (Overseas Chinese Mission) (Chinatown Manhattan) – I’ve spoken there a few times, and they have a really sweet congregation.  I went to seminary with one of their pastors, Austin Woo (great guy), and I recently met Pastor Grace May, whom I’ve heard wonderful things about.   http://www.ocmchurch.org/English/home_eng.html

4.  Morningstar New York – I’ve known people who have attended MSNY throughout the years, and they’ve been really cool people.  I’ve exchanged phone messages with one of their pastors, Adam Burt, a couple of times, and we were once thinking about doing a singles gathering together.  Maybe that’ll still happen someday!  Ron Lewis is their Senior Pastor. http://www.msny.org/

5. Grace Faith Church (Chinatown Manhattan) – I’ve spoken to their Young Adult group before.  It was a lot of fun, and they have great, warm people.  http://www.gracefaithchurch.org/

6.  Remnant Westside Church (Upper Westside, NY) – I’ve never met anyone on their staff, nor have I gone to any of their services, but I’ve met people who attend, and they are a terrific bunch who are passionate about their faith and community.  Pastor Bruce Yi is their senior leader, and they are a church plant of another Remnant church in midtown, which is where a good friend was once a pastor.  http://www.remnantwestside.net/

7.  The River NYC (Downtown Manhattan) – Another best bud goes to this church, and the people I know there are really tremendous people.  One of Tina’s best friends, Chris, used to go there with her husband who was in leadership there before they moved to Chicago.  They are a vineyard church, and their senior pastor is Charles Park.  http://rivernyc.org/

8.  Trinity Grace Church – I’ve never attended TGC, but I’ve exchanged a few emails with Jon Tyson, their lead pastor.  Jon is the real deal, and I love his passion for the city, building community, and encouraging other movements.  They have locations all around.  http://trinitygracechurch.com/

9.  Metro Hope Church – Led by Jose and Mayra Humphreys, I have not had a chance to visit just yet, but I recently met with Jose and I love his passionate, creative heart for God and others.  I’m excited to visit this diverse, artistic community sometime. http://metrohopenyc.org/

10.  New York Chinese Alliance Church – One of my seminary friends, Aaron Chan, is the English pastor there, and he’s someone whose Biblical insight and wisdom I greatly admire.  Plus, he’s a really great guy whose life and character I respect. http://nycac.org.p4.hostingprod.com/english/

11.  Hillsong NYC – Hillsong NYC is relatively new (their official launch was in Jan or Feb of 2011), but they have some incredible momentum going.  Tina and I visited them for their Good Friday service, and we were really blessed to see so many people attending and connecting with this young congregation.  The atmosphere is great, and the people there really seem to love Jesus passionately. http://www.hillsongnyc.com/

Long Island

1.  Shelter Rock Church (Manhasset and Syosset) – I know one of their campus pastors, Josh Moody, and he’s a quality leader and pastor whom I appreciate and admire very much.  I’d highly recommend this church.  http://www.shelterrockchurch.com/

New Jersey

1.  Metro Community Church (Englewood, NJ) – I recently met their senior leader, Peter Ahn, and he’s one of those guys I would love to hang out with more.  He was introduced to us by Brenda Slater-McNeil, and he really impressed the folks on our staff who met him.  They seem like a really cool church. http://emetro.org/

2.  Renaissance Church (Summit, NJ) – I’ve connected with the folks at Renaissance a couple of times, and I’ve been blown away by their hospitality, heart for their community, and innovative/artistic bent.  Steve Young, their Worship and Creative Arts guy, has been a wonderful guy to get to know, and I’d love to visit their church myself on a Sunday! http://www.renaissancechurch.org/

3.  Bethany Well (Fort Lee, NJ) – Richard Lee is the lead guy at Bethany, and he’s a terrific leader/speaker/pastor.  I have a great deal of respect for Rich, and I also appreciate his passion for the Mets.  I spoke at Bethany a few years ago and it was a fun time! http://www.bethanywell.com/