During the weekend of 9/11, several state missionary colleagues along with Pam and me were on hand in New York City to see a baby born in Bay Ridge. I am speaking metaphorically of the Cornerstone Church at Bay Ridge in the Brooklyn area. This was a blessed experience for us as we participated in the beginning of a new congregation of believers in metro NYC.
Obviously, we relived the pain of seeing the visual reminders of that infamous day 10 years ago when our nation was attacked by terrorists. Yet Reggie Quimby, Scotty Goldman, Doug Rogers, Pam and I rejoiced in the birthing of a new church for a highly populated area of people.
Days before this inaugural service, we prayerwalked the area, we passed out invitations to the worship service and we engaged people in conversations about the new congregation. This was a good exercise for us in many ways. We were able to get a feel for the situation and to get to know some of the diverse people groups in the Bay Ridge community.
The first service for the church was a true celebration. The small but committed number of believers joined in singing praises to our God. Pastor Nathan Tubbs, an Alabama native, presented a message centered on the mission of the church. We were all enriched by the experience of being a part of this birthing process.
One added treat was our spontaneous attendance at a Sunday afternoon service at the Brooklyn Tabernacle. This was something Pam has wanted to do for years. The worship service was a celebration of life. The last survivor pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Center, Genelle Guzman-McMillan, offered her riveting testimony of how she came to Christ amidst the ruins of the Twin Towers. Her book, Angel in the Rubble, chronicles that story for all to experience.
Ten years after the towers came down, a church was born not far from the scene of devastation. It is an example of the beauty of God’s grace at work in lives of people in the Big Apple. Pray for Nathan and Leslie Tubbs, and their daughter Sophia, as well as soon-to-be-born son, Caleb. Pray they will be encouraged, even in times of discouragement. Pray for victories for God’s glory, small and big ones. Pray for the seed planting taking place in this strategic urban area. Pray for this new baby church as she grows in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Pray that Alabama Baptists and others will be good prayer partners with them in the future.