Chris Durso, son of longtime Christ Tabernacle Pastors Michael and Maria Durso, has been elevated to lead pastor of the NYC church–recently re-branded as Saints Church.
“Thank you all for your support and kind words,” Chris Durso wrote on Saturday to nearly 80,000 followers on Instagram. “Please be praying for us because we’re loaded up with dreams & vision! We’re expecting to see God do something massive in this new season. We love you all!”
The installation celebration took place on Friday, January 24 and featured a message delivered by Hillsong Church founding pastor Brian Houston. Some of Durso’s friends and fellow Millennial ministers also attended, including Rich Wilkerson Jr., Robert Madu, and Chad Veach.
“[The] TRANSITION CELEBRATION WAS INCREDIBLE!” Saints Church shared on Instagram. “In the words of Pastor @BrianCHouston we’re honoring the past, living for today, and building for tomorrow.”
“We’re so grateful for what God has done through this church, and couldn’t be more excited for what he’s continuing to do,” it continued. “It’s only through the grace of God that we’ve been able to share the Gospel for the past three decades. We’re believing for His grace to continue for another three decades and beyond. We love you Saints Church.”
The church shared several photos from the transition ceremony, including one of the elder Durso, the former lead pastor, appearing to wipe tears from his eyes.
The elder Dursos have been leading Saints Church since 1985, when the Queens borough congregation was known as Christ Tabernacle. They took on leadership of the church at the request of leaders of The Brooklyn Tabernacle. Saints Church has a second campus with Spanish services in the borough of Brooklyn.
Chris Durso, 36, has been on the pastoral staff at Saints Church for several years, ministering alongside his parents and two brothers. When he took over the church’s youth ministry, he renamed it Misfit NYC and as its size grew, so did its popularity. Misfit NYC is described on the church’s website as “a local youth ministry with global impact.”
Durso, who authored Heist: How Grace Robs Us of Our Shame, shares two children with his wife, Yahris Durso. The couple remains “passionate about bringing the Gospel to all generations, committed to seeking the presence of God and helping others encounter Him,” according to Saints Church.