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The “Hood” pastor reimagines Christianity in Harlem

The Gathering is a newly formed church in Harlem led by the Rev. Kenneth Hart, who uses music, food and art to unite old & new Harlem

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The bass in “Humble,” by the rapper Kendrick Lamar, boomed from the flex space at the Dwyer Cultural Center. A paint-splattered mural of Tupac and a signed, hand-drawn portrait of President Barack Obama hung on the wall. Aside from the Bible on the lectern, there weren’t many indicators of a place of worship.

The Gathering is a “church plant,” or a newly sprouted congregation. It was created five months ago by the Rev. Kenneth Hart, 29. ...

The Gathering was started with the help of Orchard Group Church Planting, which partners church plants with established churches to fund and provide managerial assistance.

Mr. Hart envisions the Gathering as the kind of church he needed when he was a 17-year-old in Harlem — one that brings the church out to the people.

By Ashley Omoma




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