In October, 2001 when the air was filled with the dust from the collapsed Twin Towers in lower Manhattan, and the world was still lost in shock, disbelief and panic - a group of devoted Chinese Christians saw the needs and the helplessness of their fellow New Yorkers. As Matthew 9:37 says, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few." Therefore, with love for God and their fellow man, Harvest Church of New York was founded in this difficult time under the leadership of Pastor Mudao Xiao.
Lacking an actual church building the early members rented a conference room in a local hotel. Every Sunday morning since then the hotel has been filled with the sounds of uplifting worship songs, the pastors' messages, the congregation's testimonies to God's amazing work and the sweet sounds of children's voices. Here, broken families are restored, the desperate find hope, and lives are transformed. One after another, people and families were baptized and found their spiritual home here. New York is one of the largest cities in America and has one of the largest populations of Chinese immigrants. Harvest Church of New York has provided the much needed love, support and home to many new Chinese immigrants. We are changing the atmosphere of our new communities one family at a time.
For the past 12 years the hotel-based sign-less church has expanded rapidly; reaching out not only to the metro-New York and Long Island areas, but also to neighboring states. The church has grown from a few families in 2001 to nearly 500 members with three pastors today! Our ever expanding church has grown beyond the space of the hotel.
As a result of our expansion many of our community services such as workforce trainings, spiritual healing sessions, adult education courses, children and senior citizen services, free English language courses, Chinese School, afterschool programs, youth orchestra as well as our English congregation are held entirely in a separate location. The separation of the Chinese and English congregations distance adult church members from their children. Lack of a church building has limited our prospects for future expansion of church services and has caused many other challenges.
The church leaders have kept a plan in mind and church members have been steadfastly praying for our own church building. This year God answered our prayers and led us to a 70,000 square foot plot of land spanning the borders of New York City and Nassau County. The neighboring Chinese immigrant population has been growing in that area. We believe that this property is the "promised land" God has bestowed on us in the crowded New York City real estate market. We have a blueprint to build a 1200-person main sanctuary with a 400-person chapel, 20 classrooms, a multimedia center and more than 100 parking spaces. Our church building will be open to all for evangelical and community events so that together we can be a blessing to New York at large.
After 12 years in the "wilderness", we finally see the Promised Land right in front of our eyes! It is time to move forward! We need to raise over $3 million to purchase the land, with additional funds to start construction. We strongly believe that with God's guidance and your generous support, our goal is achievable.
Thank you for playing such a wonderful role in our story. If you are looking for a spiritual home, we welcome you and your family to join Harvest Church. Let’s begin the new chapter of our story today with building our new home!
May God bless you and your family.