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Pilgrim’s Progress through a Fast. Pastor Bill Devlin

Pastor Bill Devlin fasted for 40 days. This is the story of his journey.

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Illustration by A Journey through NYC religions


Pastor Bill Devlin started his forty-day fast to give a spiritual dimension to the movement protesting against the city government’s new policy to exclude religious groups holding worship services in public school buildings. He is now consuming only “good NYC tap water.”

The conflict has resulted in 50 arrests, thousands of protesters, citywide religious solidarity, and some judicial and legislative successes. Devlin took up his fast as a hunger

Pastor Bill Devlin of Manhattan Bible Church 

striker, Pastor Dimas Salaberrios, started to physically fade with heart problems. The most recent court ruling from Chief United States District Judge Loretta A. Preska came last Friday. The judge granted a temporary injunction against the city government and allowed religious groups to rent space for worship in public school buildings. The city government has vowed to appeal the ruling and a Right to Worship bill is till waiting consideration by the State Assembly.

He pastors at Manhattan Bible Church in Washington Heights, Manhattan. This church has its own building and is not affected by the city government’s public school regulations. During his fast, he kept a full schedule of preaching, leading fellowships, mentoring and counseling. The church supports Manhattan Christian Academy, The Love Kitchen, New Creation Bakery, and other ministries.  Pastor Devlin is also a registered nurse, a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (class of 1989), a decorated Vietnam combat veteran with a Purple Heart, and has been married to wife Nancy for 30+ years. They have 5 grown children.

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Our map is inspired by John Bunyan's classic Pilgrim's Progress  which tells of the journey of a young man named Christian and his wife Christiana on the straight and narrow road through the slough of despond, the hill of Difficulty, Vanity Fair, the wicket gate and the valley of the shadow of death to the Celestial City. Bunyan hoped that his "book will make a Traveler of you." C.S. Lewis, the author of the Narnia tales, wrote a modern version of  called Pilgrim's Regress. His main character struggles with the modern phoniness, hypocrisy and intellectual vacancy of the Christian church, Communism, Fascism, and various philosophical and artistic movements.


Credits--Reporting & writing: Melissa Kimiadi, Tony Carnes. Design: Darilyn Carnes


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