One-on-One with Jerry Gillis on The Church of Western New York

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“Jesus set us up in such a way that it requires his whole body to bring the whole gospel to the whole geography.”

Ed: Tell me about the Church of Western New York and Pentecost Together. The video shows a remarkable array of Christian leaders who I never imagined seeing together in one place. What did you do and how did you get there?

Jerry Gillis: Two things. We’ve had two large scale events for the church in western New York. One was a 2013 Good Friday Together. We basically gathered ourselves together in downtown Buffalo and had worship and communion. There was preaching around the seven last sayings of Jesus during the time leading up to his crucifixion. We took up an offering and invested it into the city through a number of different city initiatives, whether that was toward education, housing, or other similar things.

And then we had another event in June of 2017, which we called Pentecost Together. It took place around the time of Pentecost, June 9th, which was right before Pentecost Sunday. Thousands of believers from all across the western New York region gathered together to worship. We hosted it in the First Niagara Center, which is in downtown Buffalo where the Sabers play.

To be able to have those kinds of events in the First Niagara Center takes time and intentionality – those things don’t just happen. Over the course of the last 12 years or so there has been a relational development in the Church of Western New York where brothers and sisters in Christ have determined that we are better together.

We believe that no local church can do the ministry and mission that Jesus has called us to on their own. Jesus set us up in such a way that it requires his whole body to bring the whole gospel to the whole geography.

So there were a lot of relational investments – meetings, coffees, breakfast, lunch, hanging …

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