I had heard about a new church plant in Schenectady this past fall and sensed a desire to go. Finally, 5 months after their official launch, God brought me to Electric City Baptist Church. The acronym “ECBC” also stands for “Everything for Christ, By Christ”. This isn’t just a cool catchphrase … it’s truly the heart of the people here. Their first service was held on September 16, 2018, and they are already lighting up the city of Schenectady with the love of Christ.
The greeters at this church weren’t just the volunteers at the door. EVERYONE here is a greeter! We were overwhelmed by the warmth of our newly met “family”. The place was really filling up fast, so I quickly went to reserve a front row seat. The crowd was diverse in both culture and age. Pastor Anthony Stafford is youthful, energetic and on fire for Jesus. With such a new church (only 5 months old) and such a young pastor and worship team, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Let me tell you … this place certainly surpassed my expectations! Then the most fitting scripture came to mind – “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably MORE than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout ALL GENERATIONS forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21(NIV). HIS power is at work at ECBC.
Then something happened that made a real personal connection for me. The worship leader, Nathan Roberts, accompanied by his two sisters (Joy on piano and Hannah on guitar) began to play the opening song. Being of college age, I expected the contemporary style that is so prevalent amongst the modern church. Instead what I heard was the purest, most honest, beautiful sound resonating my ears and penetrating my heart. They even threw in an old-time gospel song and ended with one of my favorite hymns, “Jesus Paid it All”. Then my good friend Angela tapped me on the shoulder and said, “You must be loving this”.
And as if the music wasn’t enough, Pastor Anthony preached it! He shared how he always begins his messages by reading the full text because the Word of God is what changes people. He read John chapter 6 and followed with a prayer of comfort for all who are going through trials. We all know people who are hurting and we need to show compassion like Christ did. In Matthew 17:17, Jesus states, “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?”. May we not be like that “unbelieving and perverse generation”. In Mark 9:29 it says that the faith to cast out demons only comes with prayer and fasting. “LOVE IS SPELLED T I M E”. If we want God to use us mightily, we need to put time in with GOD.
Are you a follower of Christ? Who are you helping? As the boy with the fish and the loaves, do you have faith to even lay down your lunch for Christ? In our churches and in our neighborhoods there are people who don’t know Christ. We need to spend time with God in prayer and fasting so that we can shine God’s light, showing Christlike compassion to others. Following the message, we once again sang “Jesus Paid it All”, the perfect way to conclude the service. It had even more meaning after listening to Pastor Anthony’s compelling message. I somehow knew it was God crying through me, pleased with humble worship and pureness of heart.
Sunday services are held at 10:30 am. For those who have kids, they have Jr. Church and a nursery available, providing care for all kids 7 and under. Pastor Anthony and the ECBC staff are available to help disciple and answer any questions. They also occasionally hold evenings of prayer for revival in the Capital Region.
I just want to say thank you to Pastor Anthony and his wife Bethany for heeding God’s call. Thank you for coming to our community (from California) to help shine the light of Christ. The electric city of Schenectady is your mission field and it’s about to get a whole lot brighter here.
Church Website – https://electriccitybaptist.com
By Donna Hansen Munafo