As a newer Assemblies of God church plant in the Bronx, Real Life Church (RLC) has a vision to continually reach the community. While the church has no permanent building, members consistently attend services, and they have seen great success in their outreaches.
For the past two years, the church has partnered with other organizations to hold a Thanksgiving outreach that feeds more than 1200 people and to distribute 500 backpacks and supplies each fall for local students.
"There are 30-40 people attending the church now," says Reggie Stutzman, pastor of RLC. "It's a challenge not having your own building, your own signage or turf. It's hard to brand yourself without a permanent place. But it's happening little by little and people are hearing about [the church] and wanting to come."
Last month, RLC hosted a three-day vision and health fair in Hunts Point, Bronx, New York, that provided free eye exams, glasses and blood pressure and diabetes screenings. A pediatric dentist also offered free oral exams and toothbrushes for children. Following the fair each afternoon, a church service was held in hopes to bring awareness of RLC and the share the gospel with the community.
The church partnered with Vision4Christ, a ministry based in Kingswood, Texas, to host the fair. The Vision4Christ team consisted of 20 medical professionals with different skill sets that were able to network with other clinics in the Bronx area to provide a full service health outreach. "This is really unheard of, especially in the Bronx," says Stutzman. "Once the flier went viral, people from every borough were calling me. I didn't know what kind of turnout to expect."
The response was unanticipated. Special guests were also at the outreach to support RLC. Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene presented the church with a proclamation, and City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo presented them with a citation from the city. Charlene Israel, 700 Club/CBN Reporter, and her camera crew recorded footage from the outreach that will air on November 20th.
Optometrist Andrew James of Vision4Christ saw more than 400 patients in two nights. Although more than 500 people were in attendance for the outreach, unfortunately patients had to be turned away due to time and resources.
"It was a very successful outreach. We had 50 reports of salvation during evening services," he says. "The highlight was hearing that two of the worst drug dealers in the county were at the altar praying one night. That was incredible news."
Thankfully, the outreach was held days before Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, so there were no challenges with weather or evacuation. Stutzman says the church has been looking for ways to help victims, one of which is a cleaning supplies drive for those hit by the storm.
For more information about Real Life Church, click here.