I had heard a lot of wonderful things about Pastor Michael Moore and City Church in Albany. Located at 200 Washington Street (corner of Lark and Washington), I was greeted from the sidewalk by Joshua with a handshake and communion elements. This intimate church is warmly snuggled into a space formerly occupied by a bank. This was evidenced by the teller stations and a vault with its huge door conveniently opened as if it was saying, “Out of business; no secrets here!”
I noticed a healthy population of children with classrooms and play areas to accommodate them. The congregation represented the ethnic diversity one would expect from an inner city church. They offer two Sunday services – 10 am and 12:30 pm. The first service had about 55 adults in attendance and approximately 20 children. City Church also offers three community groups at various locations with a suggested limit of 12 people. On Wednesday nights the Church has a larger group meeting with a meal served and a time to dig deeper into the message preached the previous Sunday.
The worship music was modern, a bit loud, with lighting and stage props, but God was given all the glory! The worship leader, Jessica Gusman, was amazingly gifted as she poured herself into the songs of praise. The team did an amazing job. They were well practiced and anointed, and within only moments I entered into worship. At the conclusion of the worship, Pastor Michael Moore made his way to the front in a plain white t-shirt, jeans and a beanie cap. As he began to speak I witnessed the wisdom of God come out of this young pastor. His preaching was practiced, methodical and compelling. He spoke with boldness and authority as he shared a powerful message on God’s love.
He shared how being mature in Christ all comes down to the simplest thing…loving others as Christ loves us. He talked about the importance of walking and living for the sake of Christ. Not just talking about it and studying on how to do it, but actually going out and doing it. He emphasized Colossians 2:8-10 – Anything that pulls you away from Jesus is not of Jesus. Stop running after the deeper things of God and focus on the love of God. If we embrace the love of God, everything else will fall in line. The biggest revelations come from the simplest tasks!
He also spoke on Matthew 28, and explained how discipleship with the love of God is what draws all men to salvation. Therefore we are to lead people to God by discipling them with love. I have never heard it preached this way before, and was convinced that this man was preaching from personal revelation. Whoever discipled and trained Pastor Michael Moore would be impressed with the excellence of his ministry. Nice job, whoever you are!
The service closed with a worship song and we all took communion. The prayer team was made available to those who had needs. I was greatly moved by the worship and the message. I especially liked how so many people made a point to talk with me after the service including the Associate Pastor, Jim Waltersdorf. This church definitely practices what they preach….loving others with the love of Christ.
City Church impressed me greatly. It was high above my expectations. If God ever calls my Church Journey’s to a close, this is one of the churches I would consider calling “home”. I encourage everyone, young and old, to visit this church and see how God is working in and through it!
Church Page – www.citychurchalbany.com
By Donna Hansen Munafo
(Contributing writers Michael and Pat Frati)