Local church finds mission field in New York

By JENNIFER COHRON
Posted 10/1/16

Daily Mountain Eagle

A team from Carbon Hill First Baptist Church visits New York City each summer but not to see the sights.

In 2014, the church began a partnership with City Life Church and its pastor, Nathan Creitz.

“What we were doing …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

Local church finds mission field in New York

Posted

Daily Mountain Eagle

A team from Carbon Hill First Baptist Church visits New York City each summer but not to see the sights.

In 2014, the church began a partnership with City Life Church and its pastor, Nathan Creitz.

“What we were doing with missions was a trip here and a trip there. I felt led to do something where we committed to get to know the people and the area in a place that really needed ministry help,” Pastor Scott McCullar said.

City Life Church is a North American Mission Board church plant that meets in the fellowship hall of a Romanian Baptist Church. Located in a low-income area of Queens, it is the only English-speaking church serving 100,000 people who live in a one-mile radius.

For the past two years, the FBC team has led a week-long vacation Bible school at the church for approximately 30 children and teenagers of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Mission team members also pass out free snacks and information about City Life Church at subway stops near the church.

Though some refuse to accept the offering, skeptical of anything that is free, others find their way to the church as a result of the subway ministry.

“It sounds like it’s too simple and it is simple, but it has made an impact. The first year we went, somebody came to the church because somebody else had thrown their card down on the platform, and he found it,” team member Charlita Brown said.

Bonds form quickly between the Alabamians and the New Yorkers, and the two groups of church members keep in touch with each other throughout the year.

“Instead of us going here one summer and there one summer, we have the opportunity to build relationships in such a way that brings mutual encouragement. If I put a prayer request on Facebook, people from that church will contact me to let me know they’re praying,” McCullar said.

However, there is no denying the culture shock that team members experience while in New York.

Each trip includes a stop in Times Square, where only tourists notice (much less take offense to) public nudity and outrageous street performances.

“I want them to see lostness. You are in a mass of people, more in that one place than in all of Walker County. There are no inhibitions. It is overwhelming. It is uncomfortable. It is greed. It is intentional awareness of lostness in the world,” McCullar said.

In the midst of depravity, the team members have also seen how the Gospel in its simplest form can have an impact.

This year, the team used a VBC curriculum that they developed themselves after realizing the children they served needed a basic presentation of the message of the cross.

Two children made decisions for Christ at City Life Church. When the same curriculum was used at Carbon Hill FBC a few weeks later, two more children made the same choice.

McCullar will never forget a 6-year-old Armenian boy who learned who God was and that He loved him on the first day of VBS, cried over his sins on day two and had turned into a little evangelist on day three after reading about the crucifixion and resurrection.

“One thing that struck me the most was that the Gospel in its basic form doesn’t have to be dressed up to be understood and to be embraced,” team member Terrie Crumbley said.