APX Keyboardist Now Pastors Local Church
Fri., Jan. 23. 2015 4:11pm EST
ApologetiX keyboardist Chris VonBartheld was recently named pastor of a Pittsburgh-area church. Although that's made his schedule a lot busier, we caught up with "the Long Island Liberace" and asked him a few questions about pastoral life:
What's the official name of the church and the address?
Amazing Hope Worship Center. 1747 Leishman Ave, Arnold PA 15068.
How did you become pastor?
In June, I was installed as associate/worship pastor. When the senior pastor announced he was leaving in October, I believe, the board came to me and asked me if I would consider taking over.
What's the focus of the church?
Our main focus is on getting back to the worship of God. Knowledge and understanding come along with it, but if we could ever understand Him, we wouldn't need Him. To me, it's very simple, Here's the Cross, let me tell you about He who died on it, and then how can I help you get closer to it. Sometimes simple is better: love God, love each other; it's simple, it's just hard.
How many people are in the congregation?
We have a steady 25 but we're seeing baby steps of growth both in the community and in the church family.
Can you tell us briefly some cool things that have been happening there?
There were two things that summed it up for me. The first was at out New Year's Eve service, a young girl came up and accepted Christ that night. I've been part of those moments doing outreach and such, but, if you'll forgive me this one time, that was the first in this church. The second was during our Thanksgiving Eve service (wow, we love holidays). We were the host for a multi-denominational service with other area churches, and after the service a girl came up to me and said, "You're a great pastor." I told her thanks and she responded, "because you wear jeans". It was funny to me, because it totally represented the "come as you are" attitude that we hold onto.
Do you still lead worship, too?
Yes, I do. I still have my team in place but I'm always looking for "special guests."
Do you have any message for ApologetiX fans?
Thanks for the love, prayers, and support. I want to invite all the APX fans to come on and visit us. If you ever want to just come to church and have the chance to get personal with the Cross and find that relationship again that sometimes we all get too busy for, we have services on Sunday at 10 a.m. and we do a Sunday night service at 6 p.m. The evening service is really stripped back. Sometimes it's scripture, testimony, music and then sometimes we worship in the silence. In any case, come and visit. For other events and information, you can find us on Facebook.