Churches usually don’t advertise grand openings.
But the members of the Authentic Church in White Plains will be the first to point out their services aren’t typical.
“We just pride ourselves on being an inclusive, welcoming environment every Sunday morning,” said Phil Sanford, a church member. “It’s not judgmental. We’re just a couple of people who share our faith and like to get together on Sunday.”
On Sunday, church is having a grand opening mass to celebrate its return to White Plains.
The church, which was founded in White Plains by lead Pastor Wayne Frances in 2011, had been gathering at the Clearview/Bowtie cinemas in Mamaroneck since June of 2012 after outgrowing its previous meeting place.
Late last year, the church announced it was moving to the Play Group Theater at 1 North Broadway, White Plains. Sanford said the move was made to accommodate growing church membership, which brings in about 115 to 130 people service every week.
Sanford said the church has already partnered with other churches and organizations in the community. The church has also collaborated with the White Plains Youth Bureau on a number of initiatives, including their monthly meal serving at ‘Breakfast on Ferris.’
“We’re delighted that our church is able to return to the place of its beginnings, in the heart of downtown, to serve families, our neighbors and people all over the county,” Francis said in a statement. “It's so exciting to be in the hub of Westchester once again.”
Sanford is hopeful that church member won’t have to worry about relocating for the foreseeable future,
“We’d like to have our own church building at some point,” Sanford said. “That would be a huge blessing.”