300 75th St. • North Bergen, NJ 07047
WHAT IS OUR STORY?
The Hudson Vineyard Church has deep roots in our area. Many of the folks in our congregation have lived in the surrounding towns for most of their lives. My (Pastor Paul) spiritual journey had its beginnings 30 years ago when I connected with the Church of the Transfiguration on 79th and Palisades Ave. It was just before my 25th birthday and I desperately needed to know who God was. I prayed a simple prayer: “Jesus if you are God, I need to know that. And I need some friends to help me.” By divine appointment I met Pastor Bill Edel and his wife Essie while skating on Braddock Park Lake. We always talk about that “day on the lake.”
Within a couple of months after attending this church, I came to understand that Jesus is in fact God. I asked Him into my heart; He cleansed me and washed me clean and filled me with His life giving Spirit. A year later I would meet a young woman who would one day become my wife, Lourdes (Lu). Five years after first attending this church, I was on my way to Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, NY in the fall of 1990 to begin my formal studies in preparation for a vocation in Pastoral Ministry.
In June of 1993 Lu and I were married (best day of my life) and we set up our first home in town. The Lord had already been stirring my heart about staying in North Bergen to serve Him and that was confirmed by the Christian and Missionary Alliance. In 1995 I officially began my service as a Pastor with the assignment to plant a church in North Bergen. We started with a “remnant” from our old church that had closed in November of that year. For many years we met in home groups or “cell groups” that were scattered around the community. The groups were life giving and served the purposes of the Lord, but without a congregational base, we were hindered in what we could accomplish.
In early 2000, we had the opportunity to use our old church building once again, and we were excited about the possibilities. Initially we started with a prayer meeting and then we attempted to re-establish a congregational gathering. It never took root. It was disappointing and seemed like we had no way forward. But the Lord called us to maintain a place of prayer in our old building, which we did for a couple of years.
I reconnected with a friend at one point, Phil Chorlian, Pastor of the North Jersey Vineyard (NJV). I always liked the Vineyard and found myself interested in learning more about this church movement. Lu and I began to connect with NJV in Hackensack at the time, and with one of their home groups in West New York. The Lord had already placed it on the heart of Eddie Garcia to see a Vineyard church planted in our area, and now we were becoming friends. The Vineyard values relationships as the basis of affirming pastors and new church plants, and it took some time for them to get to know me and for me to get to know the Vineyard. It would also take some time for my wife and I to be emotionally ready to jump into the challenging waters of church planting once again.
In the Lord’s time, He prepared our hearts and put us together with a team. The Hudson Vineyard Church began in January of 2009 in a church building on 76th street. Now that we are in a new building on 75th and Hudson, it seems that we only like to travel in 5 or 6 block intervals! We continue to see the Lord’s faithfulness and we know the best is yet to come.
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