Gregory P. Nelson
Delanie-Waring AME Church
680 Swan St, Buffalo, NY
You're a new pastor in town, what has been your initial impression of the city so far?
My initial impressions is that Buffalo has much potential. I would like to see a greater coming together of clergy and community organizations so that collectively we can address some of the cities challenges in the areas of fair housing, employment for minorities, gang violence and crime overall in our streets. Their is a divide in Buffalo among the haves and the have nots. The playing field is not equal and the church should speak to politicians to make sure this uneveness is addressed.
How can African American churches and Caucasian churches work together for Jesus's glory in this city?
We can work together by allowing ourselves to become real about ecumenicalism through the eyes of diversity. I feel it begins with pastors and church leaders exposing their parishes and congregations to other faiths and cultures within the Body of Christ. Pastors must be real with our convictions and preach tolerance and sensitivity about race to the pews. The church should host racial, sensitivity trainings, just like the school boards or law enforcement and corporate America.
What is one thing you hope to accomplish during your time in Buffalo
One of the accomplishments I pray to achieve is to grow the church I pastor spiritually, numerically and financially. Also to reconnect the church to the community. To empower Delanie-Waring AME Church to be a force for the Kingdom of God in reaching souls for Christ.
What have you learned about unity and working together in other cities that you hope to implement here in Buffalo?
Pastoring in Harlem NY and Philadelphia along with other cities throughout the Northeast Region I hope to assist the church I pastor presently in buying property that can one day be used to house single mothers with children, or transitional housing which is needed in our communities. I believe the church should be involved in PARTNERSHIP with other faith agencies and organizations to bring about empowerment to the people we serve, especially the young people.