A Special Appointment

Dave Beidel and Urban Hope

“There is very little that seminary can do to prepare you for inner city work,” wrote Pastor Dave Beidel in the July 15, 2012, issue of Alliance Life. “Chasing pit bulls out of your backyard . . . running outside in pajamas as you hear a neighborhood kid being beaten half to death . . . wrestling with your gun-wielding neighbor as you try to convince him not to shoot a police officer. Our house was broken into, our cars robbed often, our hearts broken and bewildered time after time.”

Staten Island and Samaria?

Dave sees a strong parallel between inner-city communities, like the one he ministers to in West Brighton, Staten Island, and Samaria, the land most religious Jews considered spiritually desolate. Just like the ancient region north of Jerusalem, the urban landscape is often tainted by violence, racial tension, poverty and religious confusion. It was here, however, that Jesus encountered a woman seeking water in the heat of the day.

Dave and his wife, Rebecca, persevere, because “just as Jesus had a special appointment to keep in Samaria, we have experienced His nearness as well.”

It all began about 20 years ago…

Twenty years ago, the Beidels started New Hope Community Church in their living room. The neighborhood around them was in desperate need: crack addicts and prostitutes roamed the streets, kids were abused and neglected by their parents and violent crime was commonplace. Several of the children Dave and Rebecca ministered to were murdered.

In 1999 the homicide rate in the Beidel’s West Brighton neighborhood was the second-highest in New York, so New Hope Community members fasted and prayed against the “spirit of murderous rage” that surrounded them. The killings stopped, and by 2012, the murder rate was down 95 percent compared with 1999’s level. “The Lord has clearly given us favor,” Dave wrote.

Yet the church was continuing to lose youth in other ways. As the kids in New Hope Community’s many afterschool programs hit adolescence, they dropped out of church activities and often succumbed to negative peer pressure. “The great and constant challenge for any ministry in a blighted community is not evangelism but discipleship,” Dave asserts.

Building Bridges

To help bridge this gap, the church founded “Urban Hope NYC” as a sanctuary for encouraging and discipling families and kids in West Brighton. Through its teen leadership program, Urban Hope hires young people who might otherwise choose harmful activities. “There is always something wonderful going on at our afterschool center,” he says.

Dave wants the Church to ramp up urban ministry. “Jesus did not neglect Samaria; Jesus was compelled to go through Samaria. Jesus had an appointment He would not miss for the world.”

Join us online

At Council…

  • Experience “Through the Fence” at 9 a.m. today with Dave Beidel
  • Join the “Showing Jesus in Your ’Hood” seminar with Rev. Ronald Morrison and Dr. Rockwell Dillaman, Saturday at 9:15–11:30 a.m. or 2:30–4:45 p.m.

Download the app

Do you have a smartphone? Be sure to install the General Council 2013 app! View the daily schedule, speaker list and bios, live event streaming and a map of Tampa to help you get around.

Download the iPhone app

Download the Android app

Watch via Livestream

LIVE streaming of worship services and ministry strategy sessions will be available during General Council.

Watch Livestream Now


Get Involved...


We cannot “Live the Call Together” unless prayer is central to all we do.
Pray with us »


Is God calling you to service? We’re here to help you connect your passion with God’s purpose.
Serve with The Alliance »


Help build Christ’s Church by supporting the ministry and workers of The Alliance.
Give today »