Commissional Corner: Spring Break Urban Church Planting for NYC Brooklyn Mission Trip

Swerve Photo

Over Spring Break, students had the opportunity to serve alongside church planter and pastor Danny Torres of Swerve Church in Brooklyn, NY. Danny Torres and his wife, Melissa, and their three children, planted Swerve Church seven years ago in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. This is the second year Dr. Mark has taken students to Brooklyn as part of MAGL 5336 – CT: Urban Church Planting.

Church planting is not easy. Students received first-hand experience from Danny and Melissa on how difficult church planting can be. Students spent the week serving the community around Swerve Church and helped the church continue to build relationships. They spent three long days cleaning out an old storefront that willAdditional April Comm Corner Photo soon be used as a second ministry location for Swerve Church. Having very little time to work at the new site, Danny and Melissa were blessed to see how much the students could complete in just three days. Dr. Mark shared that it was tiring, dirty work but worth it when he saw how much it blessed Danny, Melissa, and Swerve Church. The group also served the community in a variety of ways. On Tuesday, the group cooked and served breakfast to over 50 police officers and staff members of the 83rd precinct. Wednesday was a fiesta day as students helped host the Family Funday Fiesta at Swerve Church. More than 60 people from the Bushwick neighborhood came to enjoy hot dogs, cotton candy, nail painting, and sticker tattoos. Dr. Mark recalled seeing two older ladies who came to get their nails painted. He shared that the neighborhood knows that when the grill comes out, it is fiesta time!

Students also had the opportunity to join another group of DBU students from the College of Business to serve TENT Ministries. This not-for-profit organization provides spiritual and emotional support to the community. Students spent the day helping TENT Ministries by organizing a packed storage unit making it easier to find items needed for different ministry opportunities.

MAGL General Studies student, Amaura Brandt, shared how encouraged she was to hear Danny's story about church planting in the neighborhood he grew up in, stating, "My brief encounter with Danny and Melissa encouraged me to continue ministering where I live just as they are continuing in ministry and the church plant where Danny grew up."

She also encouraged anyone considering this trip next year, saying, "Go if you can! Short-term mission trips are great times to build stronger relationships with other classmates and friends through service. This is also a great opportunity to continue the work of the church plant."

Written by The Graduate School of Ministry

The Graduate School of Ministry provides training for individuals who sense God's call to ministry. The mission of the Graduate School of Ministry integrates foundations of Christian faith and values with professional academic studies.