Liberty Church is a non-denominational Christian church launching its eighth community in Bay Ridge in September 2017.
We are Heath and Emily Kirkendoll and we have the privilege, along with our team, of planting and pastoring Liberty Church Bay Ridge.
Soon after we moved to Bay Ridge was when Hurricane Sandy hit, and what impressed us about our new home was the way people looked out for their neighbors. That week, we took our son out trick-or-treating for the very first time, knocking on our neighbors’ houses and stopping in at all the shops and restaurants on 3rd Ave. And when we had that feeling that this was our home, we also had that tug that these are our people. And it felt like we struck gold.
Bay Ridge, in the southwest corner of Brooklyn, is known as the “small town in the big city.” It is a gateway into the city for commuters from Staten Island and all the distinct neighborhoods of South Brooklyn. Bay Ridge is considered a naturally occurring retirement community, where people grow up and grow old in the same area. But it is also a welcoming place for new immigrant families from all over the world (becoming the heart of Brooklyn’s Arab-American community) and military families at the city’s historic military base at Fort Hamilton.
Heath is a high school social studies teacher in Bay Ridge and is passionate about youth, education policy, and, of course, history. Emily has served on staff as Finance Director at Liberty Church since it was a year old, witnessing the heart and mission of Liberty expand over many stages of growth. Early on, and probably without realizing it, we began dreaming of a church that would extend the freedom and love and family we’d discovered to others in our neighborhood. Already we have led community groups full of people who call Liberty Church home and who also make their home in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, Staten Island, Coney Island, and Bath Beach.
As a church-planting church, Liberty has a desire to “rise up and build” (Nehemiah 2:18) new local churches, in order to see the many diverse neighborhoods of Brooklyn reached by the love of God. We can’t wait to open the doors of a new Liberty Church, expand the community that we have found, and extend our values of “love, truth, freedom, family, and others” to those who haven’t yet found their faith or a faith community.
Please pray with us and dream with us as we gather people around the vision of a new church here.
- A church that connects people to the heart of God, bringing healing and wholeness and freedom.
- A church that turns strangers into family, where anyone can find love and find home, where friendships are formed and families are strengthened.
- A church that helps people discover how God has designed them, what gifts are in them, and how together we can make a difference.
- A church that awakens our kids and youth to the call of God within them, that allows them to discover their own relationship with Jesus, that surrounds them with an ever-expanding family, and that gives them opportunities to serve others.
- A church that guides people of faith to see Bay Ridge with eyes of compassion, ready to meet needs.
There are three key ways that you can play a part in the story that’s unfolding in Bay Ridge:
- Pray for us. Before we can open our doors, we need doors to be opened to us, both spiritually and practically. Select “Keep Me Updated” [Link] to stay up to date on our wins and our specific prayer needs.
- Connect us. There are untold chance encounters in this city, but even more surprise connections. If you have friends in South Brooklyn, feel free to pass along our information [Link].
- Invest in us. We have an audacious goal for raising launch funds in order to start a church that can sustain itself. We are on our way towards that goal with generous donations from Liberty Foundation and the Association of Related Churches, but we believe there is a special significance when individual hearts are moved by God to invest of themselves, to build a church fueled by passion. Select “Give” [Link] and choose “Church Plant – Bay Ridge” from the dropdown menu.