Pastor, activist and author José Humphreys and his congregation at Metro Hope Covenant Church personify the subtitle of his book, Seeing Jesus in East Harlem (InterVarsity Press, 2018), which is What Happens When Churches Show Up and Stay Put.
Defined on the ministry’s website as “a small church with a big vision in the city,” listening to Pastor Humphreys reveal the heart of Metro Hope is a refreshing outlook on how the gospel and social justice are preached and applied in practical ways. He is a 2013 alumnus of Alliance Theological Seminary’s Master of Divinity program. He also earned a Master of Social Work at the Hunter College School of Social Work and received the Reva Fine Holtzman Award for outstanding field research and practice. He has served as a social worker, consultant, teacher and trainer for churches and nonprofits for nearly two decades addressing “culture building, organizational development, transformative dialogue and emotionally intelligent leadership.”
Fourteen years ago, with a team that included his wife, Dr. Mayra Lopez-Humphreys—former director of the Master of Social Work degree program in Nyack’s School of Social Work—multi-ethnic Metro Hope Covenant Church was established. Describing their location as being “at the seam between East and Central Harlem,” the church responded to the call “to be about reconciliation and working against the things that separate us.” How does this church show up? Metro Church asserts, “We’re not just diverse and anonymous people on a subway car. We’re a snapshot of what heaven will look like.”
During a recent conversation with Dr. Nathaniel Perez, director of Nyack’s Center for Racial Reconciliation, Pastor Humphreys spells out his congregation’s commitment to discipleship, fellowship and justice as they seek shalom and well-being in their community. Interesting to hear his reach back for direction—not from New Testament books—but from the beginning of life’s how-to manual, Genesis.
Listen in and hear how Pastor Humphreys and Metro Hope mobilize and contribute to the spiritual, social and economic health of their constituents.