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CityView_inlineASTORIA, N.Y.—Names like Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, and Queens are familiar to most Americans, but those places can seem as foreign as Bangkok, Mecca, and Timbuktu. Queens, located on Long Island, is one of five boroughs that make up New York City. Over 2 million people call Queens home.

Astoria is a middle-class Queens neighborhood of about 150,000 people, and it’s a microcosm of the world’s ethnicities. Right there in that melting pot, a Bible-preaching, gospel-sharing church is being planted: City View Baptist. The church has been aided by congregations across the country, youth groups, college teams, and Baptist Builders Club.

After establishing a multilingual Bible study and training a core of believers, church planters Rob Rodriguez and Max Pera have seen new and returning visitors as the church reaches out to Astoria and Long Island City, N.Y., and Newark, N.J.

As part of their outreach, the people divided, with one group speaking English and the other, Portuguese. Members of these groups gather at several neighborhood hangouts so they can meet local residents. Their gatherings include prayer, Bible study, and Christian care, but, as Rodriguez says, “now it’s in front of the Astoria/Long Island City community.” City View is praying that, over time, they will form relationships with owners, staff, and repeat customers that will result in others receiving Christ as their Savior and being discipled.

These church-planting efforts have been aided by students from Baptist Bible College, Clarks Summit, Pa., who led children’s Bible clubs, shared the gospel, saw people converted to Christ, and distributed information about the church. As City View started its third annual City Kids Community Bible Clubs this summer, ministry teams from Mission View Church, North Canton, Ohio; Vision for Youth; Maranatha Bible Church, Akron, Ohio; and Breesport (N.Y.) Baptist Church joined in to help.

City View Baptist has also been aided by a three-year grant from Baptist Builders Club. During the first year, BBC–USA assisted City View with outreach and advertising costs. This assistance will continue with City View’s second year. Also, should the church desire it, BBC–USA will provide teacher training and curriculum, strategic planning assistance, funds to attend the 2015 GARBC Conference, and more.

Pastor Rodriguez says that without the grant from BBC–USA, they would not be able to move forward with some of their ministry plans. The resources needed to continue reaching out to people and introducing them to Jesus is enormous, he says, because each neighbor needs multiple points of contact and connection. Having some of the grant go toward the purchase of much-needed equipment, furniture, and material, he says, “allows us to transform plans into action.”