Volume 7, Issue 1
Testimony of Missionary Phil Rizzo
Editor's Note: The Phil Rizzo family are with Reseeding America and
are presently raising support to start a church in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Phil will be starting City Baptist Church in the fall of 2012.
New York City—Spiritually speaking, is there another city in the
United States that seems to be in greater need? New York City has a
population that is roughly equivalent to the combined populations of
Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. These are America's second, third,
and fourth most populous cities. However, with this many people
in such a small area it is amazing to think that NYC is not the most
densely populated city in the country. It is ranked 5th right behind
Hoboken, a neighboring city in New Jersey. It is to Hoboken that
God has called my family to plant an independent Baptist church.
With over 50,000 people living in 1.28 square miles, it is a very “tight”
community. Filled with young families and singles, Hoboken is very
social. Numerous restaurants and bars line the streets with friends
and families enjoying what they believe is a fulfilling lifestyle. God
has burdened my heart for these people with the words of our Lord
in Luke 17:26, 27—And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they
married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
With the 10 year anniversary of the September 11 attacks behind us, we will forever remember the images of people hysterically
running in any direction they could. The days following, there was a spiritual awakening within the US as people flocked to
churches searching for answers. But just two miles from Ground Zero, where many of the victims of the attacks lived, there was a
void. Without a church that stands on the truth of God's Word available to the people, that spiritual awakening did not produce
lasting fruit. My heart breaks for these people. Like the man at the pool in Bethesda looking for healing and comfort cried out,
“Sir, I have no man,” the people of Hoboken were yearning for help. Many, who for the first time in their lives sought answers,
found no man who would point them to The Answer, the Lord Jesus Christ.
My education and career background are similar to many who live in this fast-paced city. I was born and raised in northern New
Jersey in a Christian home. As a little boy I was taught that the Bible was the Word of God and was reliable and relevant for all of life's
issues. I never doubted the absolute truths found in God's Word, but the connection was never personal. In 1999 after graduating
from Villanova University with a degree in Business Management, I began working with my family in real estate management
and development. By the time I was 23-years-old, an outsider could look in at my life and surmise it was quite under control.
The hidden truth, however, was that my life was filled with vanities. It was on August 15, 2000, in the quietness of my bedroom I
prayed to God that He would forgive me of my sin. That night I trusted in the truth that only Jesus could give me a new life and
grant me salvation. As an earthly father safely leads a son, God has led me for the past 11 years through the truths of His word.
On October 25, 2009, in a Sunday night service, the Lord confirmed my vision to plant a church in Hoboken. Sixty-three days
later my family moved to Connecticut to train at New England Baptist College. I received my masters degree in May in Pastoral
Theology. Under the wise counsel of my pastor, Dr. Jim Townsley, we are partnering with BIMI and Reseeding America as we
make plans to start the church next
fall. I have been humbled by those
who have already partnered with us
by supporting our efforts to fulfill the
Great Commission. Our threefold
prayer is that other pastors around
the country will share our burden, be
moved with compassion and invest in
reaching souls in New York City and
Hoboken, New Jersey.
The majority of people who live
in Hoboken travel everyday
into Manhattan for work.