Albany, N.Y. is a diverse, pillar city in the state and a strategic center for church planting and ministry. Watch this video below, and then keep reading for more information on church planting in the Hudson valley, Western Massachusetts and Albany/Capitol District.
A growing nano-tech industry is bringing people in to Albany from all over the world, and this industry joins jobs in medicine and government as the top employers within the metro area.
There are numerous colleges and universities within Albany, and it functions as the hub for the state-run SUNY college system – not a strange thing for New York State, considering it takes education very seriously. Many people come here to pursue post-grad degrees, and then stay and raise their families here after graduation, or they come to teach and work in the industry.
The different sections of the city vary widely in architecture and demographics. The “indie” district, Lark Street, is home to eclectic shops and independent bookstores; old row houses fan downtown Albany, which is filled with state offices and building plans for permanent residential dwellings. Mid-town is compared to NYC’s Greenwich Village, and is a blend of bars, shops, and apartments, and is the center for Albany’s gay community. The Mansion district, one of the most unique parts of the city, is made up of large 19th century estates up-cycled into apartment buildings, and holds a place on the National Register of Historic Places.
The majority of the Albany population are largely of Irish or Italian descent. There is also a large african-american community. Like most of upstate New York, the majority of the population is disenchanted with Christianity, yet they have parents or grandparents who align themselves with Christian denominations or with the Catholic faith.
Despite the sunny outlook economy wise and the assets the city has to offer, there is a great need here for the Gospel. One easily seen fruit of this need is the string of recent crime cases featuring state politicians within the city limits (2013, New York Times), and that one former and one current senator were charged in corruption cases (2011, ibid).
As the capital of New York, this is the place where policies are written and enforced. A dedicated minister to Albany will be committed to unpacking false thinking as he engages the people of Albany with the Gospel, and will keep in mind that change at such a foundational level can take time. A gospel-centered, thriving church in this political headwater has the potential to greatly impact the 870,000 people who work and play in this metro area.
Church planting in Albany, New York.