METRO BAPTIST CHURCH CAPITAL CAMPAIGN


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ABOUT OUR Campaign

On September 22, 2019, Metro Baptist Church and its affiliated nonprofit, Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries, embarked on a capital campaign.  The purpose of this campaign is to lay the foundation for a larger fundraising effort for the purpose of “opening our doors wider.”  This theme refers to our desire to serve more by enlarging our hospitality.  We want our space to be accessible, safer, more sustainable, and larger.  Nicer restrooms would also be a way to provide hospitality to the thousands of people who come through our buildings every year.  Our goal is to commit roughly 1/10 of the needed capital of 12 million dollars over 3 to 5 years.  Because of the study conducted last spring we believe this is feasible.  After this initial commitment we will be raising more funds by a national effort to reach foundations and donors who love what we do as Metro Baptist Church and Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries. 


Not all that long ago – in the early 80s – as Metro began to pray about owning its own building the small church had 6,000 dollars in a fund.  Now we own two buildings in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen and have a beautiful legacy of ministry here since 1984.  This large step is just another in our journey of faith, hope, and love.   Take a moment and watch our video and learn how to pray for us.  Sign up for one of our “Campaign Salons” to learn more.  Please consider a gift.  It is hard to exaggerate the importance of this effort to the future growth of Metro and the work that happens in our building through RMM.   


Sign up for one of our Campaign Salons here.


To view our architectural dreams, click here or on one of the photos below.


Email us here to request regular updates on our campaign progress. 


If you would like more information about how to give to the Metro Baptist Church Capital Campaign, fill out this form.

This Week's Devotional

By Bosondo Braun

Our Reading is Mathew chapter 5 Verse 13 through 16.

You are the Salt of the world.  But suppose the Salt loses its saltiness. How can it be made Salty again? It is no longer good for anything. It’s will be thrown out. People will work all over it.


Verse 14:

Metro Baptist church is like a city that is built on top of the hill and cannot be hidden from the world. Despite how small Metro Baptist look. But have been serving the community. Metro have been feeding its community whether the church facing financial deficit Metro Baptist church always find it way to serve people.

You are the light of the world Metro is in a city that never sleeps Metro Baptist is on corner of Hell’s Kitchen where you see homelessness the need and the weary people.  

Where else can I be and call it my home church? But here at Metro. Because this church is like a city that is Built-on Hill cannot be hidden from the world. A church that give hope to those who need home.

Metro church is an open church to those who need a community to feel like they have a place where they belong.  

Metro church’s door is always open Wider for all people to come in. No matter what your background is. No matter what gender you represent you are always welcome.


Verse 15:

Also, People do not Light a Lamp and put it under a Bowl instead they put it on stand. Then it gives Light to everyone in the House. My counter with Bob on that stressful day, was a day that both of us did not plan to travel but turned it into the good news by share his own personal experience from Metro Baptist church with me, while I was so confused.  The new world I was about to enter, and I have no idea.

On that encounter Bob gave me the Light of a city that built on hill. I Felt security and hopeful to begin a new life and meet my new family in Christ, here at Metro Baptist church.


Verse 16:

In the same way let your Light Shine in the front of others. Then they will see the good things you do. The Good things Metro Baptist did for me and What they continue to do for other people here in this community. Even to the people who not members of this church you serve them all year around.  And they will praise your Father who is in heaven.

Amen.


While we are on Metro Ministry Journey on Open the Door Wider and Metro church is a City that Built on top of the hill and cannot be Hidden.  My hope is that you continue to have more resources to serve.

 

Introduction on personal accouter:  


Those of you who do not know me well, my name is Bosondo.  I came to Metro when a riot took place in Congo. That was in September 1991.


I left my birth place where I left the people I have known since I was born.


While on the Journey to America.  A journey that I didn’t plan for, but I have no choice but to leave.  Due to me having a son who was a U.S citizen and he was under age to travel on his own at time when the Riot took place.

 

And they could not take my son a lone, but he must be accompanied by an Adult.  That adult at time was Me. And I did not see myself leaving him go anywhere on his own without his mother on his side. On that day our life changed forever.

 

That trip was so weary and full of wonder. Scared and confused but made it through by God’s grace and Mercy. With the support and fellowship from Metro Baptist church and other people in this great City that I love.

 

We all came in via the U.S Air force. We landed In D.C.  After landing they took all of us the evacuee from the airport to our Capital Building. From Capital Building to a place in Virginia where we could have breakfast.

 

After breakfast that morning my spirit wanted to find a peaceful space where I could seat down and reflect on my journey.  I was very concerned about my family whom I left behind and did not have a chance to say goodbye before I left. And for my son Bo and I going to a new place I don’t know the language.     

 

I took my Son Bo who just turned 3 in August before traveling in September.  We both took off from the crowd.


Started to walk on a walk away that was visible to us, from where we had breakfast.  As we started to go deeper into the walk-way we noticed a lake.


My son Bo and me, was so happy to see the sign of a lake.  Especially being on a holding camp until our flight take off to U.S.  We rushed into the lake. 


My son Bo was so happy started to throw rocks in the water as soon we get to the water and started to play with water and soaking our feet into the lake water. We did that for a while.


Than We decided to walk along the lake.  As we were walking, we noticed other people walking towards us. It’s was a man with his two children walking at the other end of the lake.

 

As we moved along my son Bo started to run toward other kids and those two kids started to run toward us.   Before time the children met and started to play together.  They were so happy.


Than their Father whom I later learned his name and he was a Metro Baptist church member who was here at Metro before he went to Zaire.


Although we all took same flight, we did not have a chance to meet before boarding the flight or met at the holding camp.  But the walk on a lake where met and started to talk to each other and shared the experiences.  It’s turned out to be the same. He felts that he needed a personal space as my son I felt to do so.

 

Despised him and his wife having family in U.S.  Bob wished the trip was planned.


And he just wanted to get away from the crowd and take his kids for a walk like I did.  

As our conversation went on, He then asked me where my destination will be.


I told him my destination will be in New York City. He then asked what church I will be going to while in New York.

I told him River Side Methodist church where Ken used to work at time.

Bob paused for a second. And then said that: Methodist church is so big. And Later on, I find out it was so Big and did not feel at home while attending that church in past.


Bob took a picture from his pocket wrote Jean Maston’s name and phone number on the back of the picture said call him and tell him I gave you his information.


Once in New York Ken called Jean and he Invited us to come and visit Metro Baptist church.  I have been here at Metro since then.


Where my children grownup and shared the activities and fellowship with other children here at Metro Baptist church.  

Metro Baptist church has been our home.  And a home of so many.  


Being a Metro Member, I serve as a deacon with Pastor David Walls for about two to three term here.

During my time has a deacon, we served so many people in the community.  From food Pantry, clothe Closet, Thanksgiving, Christmas dinner feeding homeless in this community. The church also provided the outreach program, such as English as a second language, Teen summer program, homework center, school supplies and so many other activities that I could not believe that a small church like metro can do so much.


I felt so good being part of it and My home church serve the community and give hopes to the needy.

My hope and Vision for this church is to continue to serve people around the Community and a Building will reflect it Mission from the past to the future.


Because Metro Baptist church is like a city that is Built on hill and cannot be hidden but to be open to the public so they can enter in with a wider expectation of hope and new experience.


I just wanted to say thank you for being here. Thank you for your Fellowship.  Thank you for what you do here.


Click here to read last week's devotional.

Campaign celebration speech

Paul raushenbush

Jesus said: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.  But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.

 

Several years back when I was serving as Associate Dean of religious life and the Chapel at Princeton University, I brought up student deacons from the university chapel to stay overnight, right upstairs. It was around Holy Week and we spent an afternoon volunteering and as night fell, we did a scripture reflection and I invited the group to consider Jesus on the cross and to go off by themselves or in pairs into the neighborhood and see where Jesus continued to be crucified in our world today.  An hour later, the students came back with their eyes opened.  With Jesus guiding their vision, my students saw people without homes, people struggling with addiction, people working hard and demeaned by the crowds, people whose eyes revealed loneliness, hopelessness and sorrow.  They recognized Christ begging, broken and despised on the streets of Times Square. 

 

After a time of prayer, the students returned to the streets and I invited them to again let Jesus guide them as they sought signs of the resurrection. With new eyes they saw small kindnesses, they saw love expressed, saw creative and artistic beauty, saw protests for justice, and even buds of spring flowers poking through trash filled gardens.  And their vision inspired their own action. Instead of passing by people begging for food, they stopped and asked them about their life, they saw them as a fellow human and offered whatever assistance they could. Through the hospitality of this Church and this Ministry, my young people gained eyes to see and ears to hear.  They recognized Christ in their midst both broken and risen and became agents of redemption. 

 

Of all the places associated with my family name, I am most proud of this one. The people here in this room, with your hands, eyes, ears, mouths and hearts – you embody the work of my great-grandfather.  More importantly, you are doing the work of the one Walter Rauschenbusch served when he first came to this city in 1886 to be the pastor to the Second German Baptist Church, located on 45th and 9th avenue just a few blocks from here. The area already had the name Hell’s Kitchen and was described by the New York Times as Quote: “one of the most miserable and crime-polluted neighborhoods in this City. There is more disease, crime, squalor, and vice to the square inch in this part of New-York.”

 

As Rauschenbusch pastored his church he had his eyes open to how society viewed the human beings in his congregation as expendable material, toiling in factories in the service of great profit for the very few. He saw how families suffered because of low wages, no insurance, lack of education, decent housing, basic health care and prejudice.  Most difficult were the funerals he had to perform for the youngest: “Oh, the children’s funerals,” he wrote later.  “The tiny boxes.  They gripped my heart—that was one of the things I always went away thinking about—why did the children have to die?” Trying to understand what all of this meant, he returned to the Bible he was amazed by all he had not seen there before.   He told this parable:

 

"A man was walking through the woods in springtime. The air was thrilling and throbbing with the passion of little hearts, with the love wooing, the parent pride, the deadly fear of the birds. But the man never noticed that there was a bird in the woods. He was a botanist and was looking for plants. A man read through the New Testament. He felt no vibrations of social hope in the preaching of John the Baptist and in the shouts of the crowd when Jesus entered Jerusalem. Jesus knew human nature when he reiterated: 'He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.'

 

Here, on these same streets we walk on today, my great-grandfather had his eyes opened just as my students did over a hundred years later. Walter saw Jesus proclaiming the kingdom of God here on earth that would bring healing and justice to the world here and now, not some future time and in some heavenly realm.  He understood the role of the church was to help realize this kingdom in the best way possible and he worked hard to make that a reality for his congregation, for the city and for the world.

 

Interestingly, Walter’s New York City congregation offers a cautionary tale for the current moment at Metro Baptist and Rauschenbusch Metro ministries.  In 1889, 2nd German Baptist Church decided they needed a new building and the congregation raised money and ultimately Walter got an investment from John D. Rockefeller, a family friend and fellow Baptist, who helped pay for the building. Even as the new church was being built, Walter worried that the focus of the church would turn to respectability and that the sanctuary of his church, which had offered a welcoming taste of the kingdom of God might, in the new building serve as a fortress to keep out.  In 1890, the building was opened at 43rd and 9th and a few years later Walter left the church to return to Rochester where he had been raised and to assume a faculty position at the Seminary where his father had once taught. 

 

In the years after Walter, departure, 2nd German Baptist sadly adopted a fundamentalist theology and abandoned Jesus’ vision to realize the kingdom of God on earth.  Instead they narrowed the scope of their beliefs to securing a place in the kingdom after death. The congregation left its concern for the poor and the marginalized just as it had left its old building and hunkered down in their newly comfortable and respectable Christian club.  Eventually, the congregation disappeared and, in an ironic twist, the building became home to some of the most raucous gay night clubs in Manhattan before turning into a theater, which it remains today. At least for one congregation, pride of a new building led to abandonment of mission and its ultimate demise.

 

I do not believe that will happen here. We are not investing in this new building project so that we can be more comfortable or more respectable. We are building because we believe that everyone in this room and outside these walls has the right to feel welcomed, comfortable, and treated with the respect and dignity. We are not building merely a structure, but rather a community that is physically, mentally and spiritually accessible to All. Today we pledge to do our part to help build the kingdom of God, the beloved community, right here in Hell’s kitchen.  

 

It feels appropriate to have this launch celebration in the season of Advent which is a time of reflection and preparation that asks the question: What space are we preparing for Christ today? The Biblical story of advent takes place in a dangerous, unjust, and violent world where there is no place Jesus in the respectable inn, and yet a humble manger is transformed into a miracle with a diverse group of people who had eyes to see gathered to celebrate and give thanks.

 

We too are preparing space for Jesus in our hearts. I am so thankful for each of you who are giving your time, treasure and talent to make a home for Jesus, who, when we have eyes to see, we recognized in every human being.  We are making a home for Jesus the immigrant, Jesus the Jew, Jesus the Muslim, Jesus the trans youth, Jesus the Veteran, Jesus the broken hearted, Jesus the life giver, Jesus the caretaker, Jesus the tutor, Jesus the urban farmer, Jesus the unemployed, Jesus the lover, Jesus the homeless, Jesus the organizer, Jesus the carpenter, who is building a home where all of humanity can come and know that they are truly part of the beloved community.  Jesus, Emmanuel, who is with us when we can see, taste, hear, feel, and share the promise of God’s kingdom, on earth as in heaven. 

 

May it be so. And may this community be blessed and blessing today and forever.