Times Square Church
Times Square Church is located at 237 West 51st Street in the Theater District of Manhattan, New York City. Times Square Church is an inter-denominational, multinational congregation, located in the heart of New York City, at 51st Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, founded by Pastor David Wilkerson, author of the best-selling book The Cross and the Switchblade.
|Times Square Church|
|Location||237 West 51st Street|
New York City, New York 10019
|Senior pastor(s)||Tim Dilena|
The Times Square Church was founded by David Wilkerson in 1987. At the time, Times Square was known as a center of X-rated films, strip clubs, prostitution, and drug addiction. Wilkerson opened the church in response to what he described as "the physically destitute and spiritually dead people" he saw among the pimps, runaways and crack dealers who populated the area. The Times Square Church briefly held its services in The Town Hall on 43rd Street in Manhattan and then in the Nederlander Theatre on 41st Street.
In 1989 the church was leased the former Mark Hellinger Theatre. In 1991 it bought the Theatre for $17 million USD. Wilkerson described the church as an evangelical pentecostal church headed by three pastors: David Wilkerson, his brother, Donald Wilkerson, and Robert Phillips. The Theatre is still the church's current location on 51st Street.
In 2001, founding pastor David Wilkerson entrusted the senior pastorate to Carter Conlon, formerly an evangelical pastor from eastern Canada and associate pastor at Times Square Church from 1994-2001. There are also visiting ministers and missionaries who come to preach from all over the world. The church places an emphasis on prayer and even has a "prayer during preaching ministry". There are also high school and young adults programs to teach the truth and love in the Word of God.
From 2007 to 2009 the church organized an event called Prayer in the Square, a prayer rally which took place in Times Square.
On May 5, 2020, Tim Dilena became Senior Pastor, the third since the church’s founding. He had a lifelong association with founding pastor David Wilkerson and has regularly preached at the church for many years.
The church is headquartered in a theater building originally built by Warner Bros. in 1930 as a movie palace, the Warner Hollywood Theatre, which was later converted to a Broadway venue as the Mark Hellinger Theatre. Notable Broadway musicals that have played at the theater include My Fair Lady, Jesus Christ Superstar, and the Katharine Hepburn musical Coco. Times Square Church purchased the building from the Nederlander Organization for an undisclosed amount in 1991. At the time, the value of the building was estimated to be between $15 million–$18 million. Upon its purchase, Pastor Donald W. Wilkerson, brother of David Wilkerson and one of the church leaders, declared that the theater would not be altered, saying "The theater is landmarked and it will remain the same."
- "The History of Times Square Church: A testimony of obedience". tsc.nyc. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
- Simonson, Robert.  Playbill November 26, 2010
- Collins, Glenn.  New York Times December 7, 1991.
- Morrison, William (1999). Broadway Theatres: History and Architecture (trade paperback). Dover Books on Architecture. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications. pp. 162–163. ISBN 0-486-40244-4.
- "Times Square Church" at Internet Broadway Database
- Collins, Glenn (Dec 7, 1991). "Hellinger Theater Sold To Church". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 July 2009.