ATLAH Church is up for Auction and Rivers of Living Water Needs A Permanent Home!!!!!
Rivers of Living Waters is attempting to raise $1.2 million to purchase
the Atlah Church to transform the community space into one which
truly embodies Christian values.
Established in 2007, Rivers of Living Water Ministries has become a
place of refuge for Same gender loving, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender (SGL/LGBTI) Christians, but it's a church without a home.
We are "radically inclusive and open and affirming" of the SGL/LGBTI
community, and the majority of our congregation, along with its entire
ministry, is SGL/LGBTI. And unlike the few other Harlem churches
that open their doors to SGL/LGBTI members, Rivers of Living Water
performs same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Embracing the SGL/LGBTI community has come at a cost: Senior
pastor Vanessa Brown says that because black religious organizations
still largely condemn homosexuality, she has had trouble finding a
proper space for her congregation to worship.
Currently, Rivers of Living Water is holding its services in the
basement of the Saint Paul and Saint Andrews
United Methodist Church (263 West 86th Street) on the Upper West
Side. However, we would like to move back to Harlem, but looking for
a space there has become a long, arduous, and increasingly costly process.
Now that the hate spewing anti-LGBT ATLAH church is going up for auction, we seek to replace that church with our “radically inclusive and open and affirming” ministry.
Rivers of Living Water Ministries is serving its congregation, and the larger community:
Pastor Brown presided over the 2013 Vigil for Islan Nettles and gave the eulogy at Islan’s funeral.
Participated in several protests against Reverand Manning and his ATLAH Church
NY AIDS Walk participation
Rivers Youth Academy where we offer workshops, mentorship, HIV Counseling, and food to youth during the summer.
Social Justice ministry that is in the forefront of work being done on behalf of LGBTQI individuals in Ghana, Rwanda and Kenya.
Our HIV/AIDS ministry, in its seventh year of funding with The National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, offers testing, educational and preventive measures, and referrals for both HIV/AIDS and Hep-C.
Our Social Service ministry conducts outreach and assistance, specifically within the shelters and homeless population.
Each year we conduct Operation 3000, an underwear and sock drive for the homeless, where our goal was 3000 pieces collected to distribute.
Our Health and Wellness ministry assists individuals with incorporating a healthy and holistic dietary regimen. Our wellness specialist offers personal dietary counseling and exercise regimen development. We also have professionals who provide mental health counseling for those who desire it. Under which we have offered such workshops as Shades of Blue: Dealing with Depression.
Each year we set aside one month to hold educational and informational sessions in place of our typical service, bringing in professionals to discuss Grieving & Loss; Legal Counsel, Family Matters and Civil Law; and Navigating Social Services, among other topics.
We have a Christian Education department that consists of our Children’s Church, Sunday School, New Member Orientation classes, and Bible Study.
The Men’s Ministry, Women’s Ministry, Performing Arts Ministry, and Music Department are also excellent in-reach/outreach opportunities to the community.