Comments are ordered by phase of the church. Reviewed comments will be inserted in the appropriate phase based on the date supplied.
This brought so much joy to us – to read comments and hear how everyone is doing. I have so many memories of the Village Church but my favorite would be my second week in NYC from Georgia. My roommate and I at the time found our way down to The Village Church when it was meeting in the basement of Our Lady of Pompeii on Bleeker. There were no seats except for two in the front and I sat next to this handsome guy. When Clyde told us to greet the person next to us, he and I began talking and connecting the dots that we were both from Georgia and a mutual friend of mine had told me to meet Michael Albanese when I got to NYC (side note: the way Michael tells the story is that I was basically playing the banjo and gnawing on hay, I was so country and out of my element in NYC). And yet, we’ve been together 16 years now and all because of that morning at TVC. And now with two daughters that are the loves of our lives. Michael and I have SO MANY memories from TVC – from friends over at our apartment, to being at Sam’s apartment – I still remember the portrait of Mary Kay on the horse and Sam in Renaissance attire – I must have stood in front of that picture for 20 minutes in awe of these two free spirits. All the sermons that meant so much to us, the music, the amazing artists and people that came through those doors. Thank you to everyone for playing such important roles in our lives, our early marriage, our dreams in NYC. The Village Church will always mean the world to us and we thank God upon every remembrance of it.- Wynn Everett Albanese
Though I can’t say I’m surprised, I’m still kind of… surprised. And of course, heartbroken. I consider TVC to be one of the greatest churches ever to have existed, and would certainly – without any shadow of a doubt – still be a member if we still live in NYC. I am who I am today – completely! – because of my 13 years at TVC. And I’ve already taken what I learned there into the context of my church of the last five years. All my memories of TVC are good ones, and will remain with me forever. Thanks to all my former cohorts, members and elders. And especially Sam and Mary Kay. You two are like nobody else in the world. Wish I could be there April 7. My heart certainly will be! God bless you all.- Scott Greider
Love the banner images. But you forgot PS41, where we planted and met for at least a few years.
Here’s a little of the location history:
The Village Church started worshiping together in the Fall of 1994 by taking over the Redeemer 4:00 PM service and staying at Hunter College. In January 1995 it launched its first service outside of Redeemer at P.S. 41 and stayed there until April 1999 when the NYC school board started cracking down on churches renting school space. April – June 1999 at Grace Church School. July 1999 – April 2000 St. George’s Episcopal Church. April – November 2000 Our Lady of Pompeii Recreation Hall. December 2000 – ? Seventh Day Adventist Church. (Scott/Ken, you can pick up the rest from here).
Scot Sherman Jan 1995 – December 1998.
Clyde Godwin March 2000 – Feb 2002 (Scott, is this right?)
Sam Andreades November 2002 – April 2013- Alan Farhi
Reading these comments is bitter-sweet. I’m so sorry it has come to this.
Despite my inner turmoil and disappointment, I can truthfully say that ABOVE ALL I am grateful to have been a part of TVC. I’m grateful to Tim Keller for challenging me with the IDEA, and for the team of ministry marines who stepped up and served so sacrificially in those first years of planting. It’s been good to see God’s faithfulness as each chapter of the story of the TVC has unfolded. We planted, others watered, God gave the increase.
One of the many beautiful things about life in God’s kingdom is that nothing gets wasted, nothing forgotten. What God has done in and through TVC matters forever. Lesslie Newbigin, reflecting on 2 Tim. 1:12, says : “Every faithful act of service, every honest labor to make the world a better place, which seemed to have been forever lost and forgotten in the rubble of history, will be seen on that day to have contributed to the perfect fellowship of God’s Kingdom.” The rubble of history is not the last word, friends.
When confronted with sad mysteries, I take comfort that, as Fr. Richard Rohr says, “everything belongs ….Faith does not need to push the river precisely because it is able to trust that there is a river. The river is flowing; we are in it. The river is God’s providential love – so do not be afraid…Everything belongs; God uses everything. There are no dead ends. There is no wasted energy. Everything is recycled.”
I’m grateful for all of the TVC that was and is good. And I’m just as grateful for the grace that covers all the sin and nincompoopery that made it less than it could have been! I ask you— despite my many mistakes, and those that followed— did God not do a wonderful thing in Greenwich Village?
Scot Sherman- Scot Sherman (Pastor of the Village Church, 1995-1998)
We were regular visitors during the early years of the church, back in the 90′s when Scot Sherman was pastor, and occasionally since then. Some of our friends are/were members. We belong to another church, but we were always blessed to know that the Village Church was there as a community of Christians with a solid and creative gospel witness. We remember the prayer walks through the Village on Saturday mornings, when a few of us would pray at various landmarks in the Village. We will miss the Village Church, and will be praying for God’s continued working in all of your lives. Sam and Mary Kay, thank you for pouring yourselves into the lives of so many.- the Lord knows what He has done through all of you there, and many others see as well and are blessed. Numbers 6:24-26.- Eric & Susan Wurthmann
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42-47)
Twenty years ago I moved to New York City. Nineteen years ago I started meeting with a group of people interested in being a part of Redeemer Presbyterian’s first church plant, The Village Church. Six months later, I was among those in the first groups of Village Church members, under the leadership of Pastor Scot Sherman and seven original elders, Chris Giammona, Alan Farhi, Mako Fujimura, Tony Rose, Tom Whitford, Kenneth Kang-Hui, and Jonathan Gilley. I had no idea what I was getting into except that I knew that something special was happening as I met with these people- a sense of the Holy Spirit at work as we were all trying to figure out what church looked like and more importantly, what it looked like to serve Christ in this city. Growing up in the suburbs of Wilmington, DE, church looked a lot different to me: stained glass windows, organ music, traditional hymns, one hour services, choirs with robes, handbells, and potluck suppers. Here, I found myself in an elementary school auditorium with a semi-rock band playing worship songs for a service that went at least an hour and a half (still nothing to some communities that go on for hours, I know) and tattooed men and women serving communion with T-shirts sporting rock stars and Gumby. Homeschooling moms next to 20-something singles next to avant garde artists next to financial wizards and computer geeks- God was clearly at work and giving me a new lens on what being in community was all about.
To sum up what The Village Church has meant to me is like asking me to sum up my life. Impossible in a few paragraphs on a church’s website. I could quote Bonhoeffer (Life Together), Buechner (The Hungering Dark), and all kinds of Scripture and I’m not sure I’d find all the words to express what this journey has meant to me. The Village Church has shown me what it means to live your life as the hands and feet of Christ. To serve when it’s hard and keep doing it when it’s harder. To step into people’s homes (because what better church building is there but the people themselves?) and walk alongside them through the stuff of life. To live fully, laugh hard, pray fervently and treasure each day, with joy. I am grateful for the leadership of those I mentioned above as well as our second pastor Clyde Godwin, our interim pastors Drew Fields and Tony Hinchliff, and our third and final pastor, the inimitable Sam Andreades. The other men who served as elders over the years (oh dear Lord, let me not forget anyone!)- Tom Cannon, Roland Roberts, Eliot Kerlin, Mark Swanson, Todd Currey, Nathan Carter, David Bush, Ken Walker- and their incredible wives (plus, the wives of the originals I listed earlier: here’s to Barbara, Judy, Ellen, Brita, Christine, Chris, Lauranne, Dawn, Maria, Corrie, Mollie, Natalie, Sarah, Catherine, Valerie, and Marika). They are indeed worthy of double honor (1 Tim. 5:17) and are heroes in my eyes.
Worship leaders? What a beautiful gift of raising voices in song to our Lord. From Jonathan and Lauranne Gilley to the beloved David Sacks to Sarah Dickinson to Adam and Renee Browne, we were blessed. Blown away, really. The tireless deacons, the amazing children’s ministry leaders (let the children COME), the home fellowship group leaders (the king of them all, Scott Greider), the quieter, behind the scenes but oh so essential sound and set-up servants, communion leaders, and trustees, the interns and their wives- hands and feet, hands and feet. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and prayer…praising God…”
I am forever changed by my years at The Village Church, a place that in my heart will always be home until I know the real home that we all long for in heaven. At least two of the pastors of The Village Church had and have a great love for opera. The renowned opera singer Maria Callas once said “An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I’ve left the opera house.” The Village Church began long before we were there, in God’s imagination and creative plan. What a gift to have had a part in it at all. I am grateful and always will be, long after I’ve left the “opera house.” Amen to it all.- Karen Lacy
I am heavy-hearted and sad to know that TVC is closing its doors. I came to faith and began my walk with Christ at TVC. Although it has been a few years since being involved with everyone at TVC, I have always considered TVC … home.
I am thankful that through my years in TVC my life is now filled with so many wonderful and profound memories, frienships, love and Christ-focused experiences.
I wish and pray the very best to anyone whom ever served or was involved in TVC. God Bless.- Todd Zack Britton
Village was such an important part of my life and my family’s growth that it was hard, as it was closing, to properly assess and wrap up what exactly had happened there. Given some more time and reflection there are two memories I hold most precious.
Village was my 9/11 church. Our home was two blocks from the towers, and we didn’t return for months. The church spiritually and literally took care of us during those difficult months – Clyde and Valerie even took us in, showing us God’s grace and care during that impossible time. On 9/11 itself, my TriBeCa middle school evacuated up the West Side Highway to another public school: PS3. Ten years later, on 9/11/11, Priscilla and I brought our newborn son to church for the first time, at Village, then worshiping in the very same school. After that service we walked along the highway again, this time south, toward Ground Zero. I think this is what the church has been for us: turning our darkness into light, our despair into hope, a dirty city into a flowering garden. God was showing me that no matter our hopelessness, we always have a home in him.
A few years after 9/11, as a high schooler, I started bringing my now-wife Priscilla to Village. One of those early sundays, much of the sermon was occupied by the entire congregation flapping a giant parachute — in the sanctuary. I don’t remember the message or metaphor (it must have been a metaphor for something, right? Jesus? Probably Jesus.) but I remember the immense pride I felt to show Priscilla this body of believers I belonged to. It was a group which valued art, beauty, science, and play, which worshipped in the park, which welcomed all. New York society told me that I was a puritan and a fool for following Christ, or worse, that I was a bigot. I felt that I could point to this group of believers and say “see? This is what the church looks like.”- Ty Fujimura
I am the wife of one of the founding members of The Village Church, Scott Greider, and spent many years experiencing the wonder of this place and these people. Although I am not a Christian, I came to worship services weekly with my husband and children and over time was able to find a place for myself in this church. There were other families, women and men who helped support, encourage and guide me in so many important and life-changing ways. I never felt like anyone’s “non-Christian project” or an outsider but rather was included and welcomed for who I was.
I recently attended a memorial service for a dear friend who was also a member of TVC during our time there. It had been years since I had seen many of those who attended the memorial. But as we gathered to remember him it was a deeply emotional experience for me, and dare I say, for us all. From a group of individuals and couples and families who attended during our TVC years, a family had clearly been created. Reuniting with so many of those people was an experience like nothing I have ever had or will ever have again. We all knew there was a unique and special connection between us and it was a moment where time seemed to briefly stand still and allow us to soak those feelings in and absorb the beauty that was this group – both individually and collectively. We had time to connect once more, acknowledge and appreciate the gift we have been given and just as the current Village Church members have done, to scatter once again, take with us our forever-changed selves and move out into the world to encourage and love others.- Hallie Greider
I have SO many amazing memories of my Christian community at TVC during all of my 8 years in NYC. Through all of its transition, God used the TVC pastors, leaders and friends to speak consistently and meaningfully into my faith journey. I will be FOREVER grateful. I would have loved to be able to come celebrate with you guys on April 7th what God has done and will continue to do, even as the formal gathering, as we know it, disperses. ….But as much of a joy as twin 16 month-olds are(!), they wouldn’t hold up so well with a trip to NYC, nor did we have a feasible short-term child care option here at the moment. So, sadly, we were not be able to make it. It has been years since my husband Mauricio and I have been back to NYC, so please know that we would have otherwise been there in a heartbeat to say hello, remember, thank God and celebrate with you all!- Nancy (Edge) Talero
I prayed for God to really bless this time for you and your family and all the TVC members as He calls you each onward…
It’s been hard trying to find words for what the church and the people here have meant to me. I grew up in this church and so much of who I have become is due to the people I have known here. TVC was my home, and I had the best of times learning and growing and serving with all of you amazing people. The closest and most enduring friendships of my life were formed here. I have always firmly believed that God was doing great things with our church, and I still believe that, even here at the end of the chapter. But to paraphrase what a great author once said, stories never end, even as people’s parts in them do, and while the tale of the Village Church has drawn to a close, I look forward with joy to the tales that God still has in store for all of us.- Namiko Hitotsubashi