Ministering to Queens

by Pam Denlinger | Aug 17, 2012
VFCC Graduates now the Pastors of Assimilation and Ministry at both the Manhattan and Queens campuses of Journey Church.
On September 11, 2011, under a cloudy New York City sky, Mike ’06 and Danielle (Blake) ’07 Cooper prayed for an answer. They were about to visit Journey Church, where Mike had applied for a job. As they sat in that memorable service, both distinctly felt that God was saying to them, “This is your place.”

Just before Christmas this past year, Mike and Danielle moved to the city, where Mike began working as the Pastor of Assimilation and Ministry at both the Manhattan and Queens campuses of Journey Church.

Less than four months later, on March 11, 2012, he was installed as Campus Pastor of the Queens campus.

As one of two staff members in Queens, Mike’s days are busy, keeping up with his old job as Pastor of Assimilation until a replacement can be found, and taking responsibility for his new pastoral duties – from follow up to service planning, writing sermons, and recruiting the help of missions teams to come for the summer. He stays closely connected with the Manhattan campus through various weekly meetings.

Sunday mornings at the mobile Journey Church begin at 7 am, where volunteers transform a dark, commuter-convenient movie theater into a welcoming space. The hour-long service begins at 10:30 am, as the sounds of summer blockbusters booming in the background coming from the next door. After the service, Mike usually heads to the Manhattan campus for special classes and the evening service.

Danielle spends her days with their one-year old son, Blake. She also leads a growth group for newlyweds and engaged couples, and a moms group for the women at the Queens campus.

Mike and Danielle realize that the decision to come to Queens was just one more step in their story of faith. “Valley Forge Christian College defined my call,” Mike said. “I have since learned more about listening to the voice of the Lord and how important it is to have the faith to take the risk. And after you take the risk,” he smiled, “you get to see what happens.”