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Times Square Church in New York City

The main contributor for, which is me, is now living in NYC. That means we will have less posts on Christianity in China during the next several months (other contributors will continue writing but just not as frequent). Instead, I will share with you some of the churches I visit here.

One recent visit is the famous Times Square Church on 51st street and Broadway. Founded by Pastor David Wilkerson in 1987 when Times Square was a depressing drug and prostitution center, the church is an absolute landmark.

The building itself is a charming and glamorous theater. Built in 1930 as a cinema palace, called the Hollywood Theatre, by Warner Brothers, the cavernous space kept its elegance during the next 80 years while being converted to a Broadway venue and then the church.

It is a precious relic from that gilded age and a lifestyle much beyond the imagination of today’s population. Seeing the service at this beautiful theatre is a powerful and slightly paradoxical experience.

A center and symbol of capitalism in the last century, New York City has probably hundreds of churches. Walking in Manhattan, you would unfailingly encounter a church every several blocks. Aside from the commercial buildings, the church is the most prominent presence in the city. But maybe none as glamorous as the Times Square Church.