NJ pastor finds new home in City Alliance Church
Although he admits that he didn’t plan to become a pastor, Nithin Thompson, the new pastor at City Alliance Church, said that by the time he was in high school, he had accepted that God is real and began questioning what that meant for his life.
“I just kinda started to grow in my understanding of what the Bible said and my faith. Probably about my sophomore year of high school, I knew I wanted to do something in ministry. I wanted to help people. One of the things I loved doing was just meeting people and helping people — showing them what God is teaching me. As I was doing that, people were actually getting helped,” Thompson said.
“I’ve always had a heart for helping people of all sorts of faith. It doesn’t matter where you are, how can I help you? Especially if you can get connected to God, I can help with that,” he added.
Thompson attended seminary and, right after graduating, began pastoring a church in Warren, NJ., which is located right outside New York City. He served as the youth and young adult pastor for seven years.
Then he moved to Liquid Church where he served as the teaching and online pastor before coming to City Alliance.
Liquid Church was one of the fastest growing churches in the country last year and one of the largest in New Jersey.
Thompson shared that his job was to help with the teaching and preaching as well as oversee the church’s online ministries.
“It used to be 70-30, so 70 percent doing teaching and 30 percent online. Well, that changed with the pandemic. Church online was always something that we did, but weren’t heavily invested in, but when the pandemic hit we had some tracks to run on, so we were able to pivot pretty quickly because of church online,” he said.
“So, I kind of oversaw that team, developed it and built it up, until this past April when I came over as lead pastor at City Alliance,” he added.
Prior to accepting the position at the local church, Thompson said that last year he sensed a call to “be open to something.”
“I didn’t know what was going to happen and with the pandemic, that kind of got thrown out the window,” he said.
He noted that a friend had told him about a church in Pennsylvania that would be a good fit.
“I didn’t know anything about Pennsylvania. I was born in New Jersey. I grew up in New Jersey,” he said. “Pennsylvania! I knew Philly, that’s all I knew.”
“I got to know some of the elders and the leaders of the church. I looked at the church’s profile. I looked at the town of Williamsport. I was like, there’s something about this town. It’s almost like when you first meet a guy or a girl you like and you can’t stop thinking about them. I couldn’t stop thinking about this church, this town. There’s something else here,” he said.
Thompson and his wife, Jackie met with some of the people from the church.
“We really loved the people. The town is really a great town,” he said. “Then over time we just felt like, maybe it’s time to take the leap, to take the risk. Go from an associate pastorate teaching church online, which I love — they’re great roles, great churches, I learned a ton — to actually being a lead pastor.”
Thompson said that what got him and his wife excited about City Alliance was, “it was a church that wasn’t about itself.”
“I think a lot of times churches are about, ‘How can we add more people to our pews?’ It’s all about, ‘Let’s fill up the chairs.’ But, City’s always been about, ‘How do we go out and bless the community?'”
He shared that the people he had spoken with during his first week at City Alliance have used those terms.
“How do we bless this city? How are we going out and doing this? How are we partnering with different social services?” he said about his interactions with people from City Alliance.
“It’s always about connecting with different people and I love that. I think that’s the heart of the Christian faith. How are we going out and blessing people,” he continued.
“And I think as I am learning about the church, it’s always been about, ‘We’re not in this alone, we’re doing this together,'” he added.