Assistant Pastor: Peter Eck
Phone: (919) 607-3868 (cell)
Senior Pastor/Church Planter Santo Garofalo
Average Attendance: About 30 folks (kids included)
Atlantic City is a small town with big city problems. Located on Absecon Island and only about 10 square miles, AC has about 40,000 residents. For all practical purposes AC is split into the Casino/Tourism district and then the rest is residential for those who live here. It is pretty much one low income neighborhood after another with no real middle class. Plagued by all of the normal inner city problems, AC also has many churches, non-profits and government agencies who lack any kind of real organization or partnership beyond their own.
One of the strengths of AC is its ethnic diversity and is shown in the 26 languages spoken in the public-school system. Many nations from around the world are represented here in AC.
Challenges to Ministry in AC:
While there are many challenges to doing gospel ministry in AC, there are some that are more prevalent and pose as particular problems to building a sustainable ministry in the city. One of these challenges include lack of support, resources, and connections from area churches outside of AC. Another is the lack of male leadership in the family, home and church. For example, among many here Christianity is seen as a women’s and kid’s religion while Islam is seen as a man’s religion. This proves to be very difficult in trying to get men to come to church let alone become leaders in the church. As a result, we tend to attract only women and children. Next, is the challenge of help or boots on the ground. Constantly, there is more ministry to be done with no help to do it. One of our number one needs and challenges is more gospel laborers on the ground helping in a variety of capacities. We also face financial challenges as other inner city plants do (ex. Both pastors and those who work for our non-profit raise outside support).
Hope for Atlantic City www.hope4ac.org
Executive Director: David Cohen
Director of Marketing and Social Media: Alison Slippey
Hope is the community development arm of New City Fellowship Atlantic City. Hope has a variety of programs aimed at developing people especially with a focus on those trapped in cyclical poverty. Hope’s programs include but are not limited to Urban Ministry Teams, Biblical Youth Mentorship, a Reading Initiative with the Local Hospital, Christmas Store and a Volunteerism Club at the High School.
Urban Ministry Teams: Vision and Goal
To help fulfill the mission of New City Fellowship and HOPE for AC in our target community by revitalizing the neighborhood.
To develop Christian leaders with a vision of holistic ministry.
To work with churches in evangelizing and making disciples in urban communities.
To teach team members about the issues facing people who live in urban centers.
To fulfill the church’s calling to care for the poor, elderly and widows.
To empower groups to return to their home churches with a vision and passion for ministry.
Hope for Atlantic City’s HighRise Program is a Biblical Youth Mentorship Program for children who are in 1st grade or higher by September 1st. The HighRise Program will take place on Saturday afternoons during the Winter/Spring.
Literacy Readiness (partnership)
In partnership with the AtlantiCare Foundation, Hope for Atlantic City is giving parents and their children the tools they need to get a head start in school by presenting them with the gift of new books and encouraging them to read with their children.
The Christmas Store is for people who struggle to provide Christmas gifts for their families. It gives low income parents and grandparents an opportunity to purchase new toys at a greatly reduced price. This gives them dignity in being able to purchase toys for their families rather than receiving a handout.
Surf Camp (partnership)
Surf Camp is a partnership program with FCA surf (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). This program is a week of surf lessons in the water and bible lessons on the beach. It helps the kids gain confidence in the water while helping them continue their spiritual growth as well.