My third annual pilgrimage to Long Island was by far the busiest yet. This year was centered on a debate against Jesuit scholar and priest, Mitchell Pacwa. For pictures of the debate, click here. But that was but one evening of thirteen. I began my work with Ed Moore of the North Shore Baptist Church. Last year I gave Ed a Rush Limbaugh tie at the end of the Bible Conference I did at NSBC. This year we had a bright tie competition each evening, but decided to let it end in a “tie” on the last evening:
We addressed Roman Catholicism at NSBC, speaking on the Papacy, Mary, the Mass, and Purgatory. If you are ever in the Bayside/Queens area, make sure to stop by and visit with Ed Moore and the wonderful folks at North Shore Baptist Church, 202-09 42nd Avenue in Bayside.
One of the greatest joys for me in traveling to Long Island is spending time with one of my best friends, a beloved brother in Christ, Chris Arnzen. And, of course, I never laugh as much as I do when I’m around Chris Arnzen. Lots of folks noted that the schedule Chris arranged for me was missing only one thing: time off. So, here I pose with Chris early on in the week:
Notice how I look relaxed and fit? Now, compare that, taken early on in the week, with this one taken the last night at Chris’ own church:
Notice the glassy look in the eyes? The gray hair? The fact that I have the same Rush tie design in two different colors? And notice that Chris looks exactly the same in both? That might be more of a miracle….the poor guy attended every event, and heard me speak every day for almost two weeks. It’s amazing he survived it. And yes, he’s wearing a Rush tie, too.
During the time I was speaking at NSBC in the evenings, I had the opportunity of speaking at the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Franklin Square, at the corner of Franklin and Sobo:
Pastor Bill Shishko was my host, and I had the opportunity of speaking Saturday morning on evangelizing the cults, and on Sunday morning on evangelizing Roman Catholics (for the Adult Bible Study Class) and then in the morning service on the biblical doctrine of justification. It was a joy to worship with the fine folks there, and I look forward to being able to visit and minister again next year.
My next stop was a good bit farther east on the island, out in Patchogue, Long Island, with Pastor Larry Carrino and the folks at the Grace Gospel Church, 214 Falcon Avenue:
Here I spoke on sola scriptura during the three nights I had with these brothers and sisters in the Lord. These meetings bracketed the debate, which took place on Tuesday night. Pastor Carrino, and Tony, his assistant, were tremendously kind to get up very early on Thursday morning, pick me up, and take me to JFK to pick up my kids, Josh and Summer, and to then take us into Manhattan so the kids could see the Empire State Building and, most importantly for them, visit FAO Schwarz. Even though the weather was horrible, we enjoyed our time in “the Big Apple” tremendously. I am also greatly appreciative of the personal ministry of folks at Grace Gospel Church who helped me out with various needs I encountered while there.
While Chris Arnzen has borne the greatest burden in organizing these trips, he was joined this year by Mike Rotolo of Calvary Press and Reformation Press:
Mike was kind enough to have my books available at the various places where I was speaking. Also, while I was there, we firmed up plans for a book on the Papacy with Reformation Press, which we should be able to produce in short order. Keep an eye out for an announcement of its availability.
On Friday evening I ministered at Hope Reformed Baptist Church in Farmingville, this time on a topic I don’t get to address very often: the King James Only Controversy. Here’s a picture snapped by my daughter, Summer, which makes it look like I was being a little more charismatic than I really was:
Now, Chris and Mike will confirm that over and over and over again during the course of my stay I kept saying, “You know, I really miss my wife.” I think they were getting tired of my whining. And, of course, I kept whipping my wallet out to show off her pictures, too. Well, thankfully, she got to join us the last few days we were there. Chris began to act as taximan while I was speaking at Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Merrick, his home church:
Here’s a less-than-good shot I took of the interior of GRBC:
While we were there, Chris took us around the area. He grew up in Amityville, so he showed us around a bit. He took us to a dead-end street close to the ocean so the kids could see the Atlantic for the first time:
Along the way he told us all about the “Amityville Horror,” and took us by the house where the real murders took place (btw, the reality is FAR removed from the story you may have seen in the movies):
The final days were spent ministering at Grace Reformed Baptist Church. It was a true pleasure to speak to this fine congregation, and again I found myself the object of personal ministry on the part of those in the congregation. It was wonderful to have my family with me at the church:
My sincerest thanks to all who made this two week trip of ministry on Long Island such a pleasure. I look forward to next year!