PASTOR Sam Grebert may only be 26, but he is set to launch his second gay-affirming church in Castle Hill in the middle of Sydney’s “Bible belt”.

On September 28, New Covenant Church, Sydney’s only LGBTI-affirming Pentecostal church, will launch a new service in Castle Hill in the north-western suburbs of Sydney, an area commonly known as the Hills District.

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The Hills District has gained a reputation as being the city’s “Bible belt”, partly because it’s also home to the Hillsong Church.

Grebert’s church will be the second New Covenant Church in Sydney, while still maintaining Sunday morning services in Erskineville.

Sam Grebert

Pator Sam Grebert (left) with a member of his congregation.

New Covenant Church worship services feature live music, relevant life-changing messages and a supportive faith community.

The church was established in March 2013 out of desire to help and support LGBTI Christians from Pentecostal, Charismatic and Evangelical churches find a safe and supportive place to worship and grow in their faith.

“Many people in our congregation grew up in churches that were not safe or supportive for LGBTI people,” Grebert said.

“We want to provide a church where everyone is welcome, loved and included. We don’t believe that being gay is a sin or a sickness or something that can be cured.

“We don’t know of any other churches in the Hills area of Sydney that are gay-friendly. Some of the biggest churches in the country are in the north-western suburbs and that’s why we need to be there also,” he added.

“We need to challenge anti-gay messages and let others know that you can be gay and Christian.”

New Covenant Church Castle Hill will launch on Sunday, September 28 at 6pm at Castle Hill Community Centre, 1-17 Castle St, Castle Hill. For details, visit www.newcovenantsydney.com.

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