Spreading the love of God since 1970
Between 1970 and 1980, 7 census tracts in the Bronx lost more than 97 percent of their buildings to fire and abandonment. 44 tracts lost more than half. Forty years later, the Bronx is seeing new buildings go up in signs of change, though the spiritual darkness continues. Over one million people call the Bronx home, yet for decades the Bronx has ranked last, 62nd out of 62 New York Counties in quality of life issues. It is out of these needs that God raised up Commonwealth Community Baptist Church.
Commonwealth Community Baptist Church was a vision born in the hearts of two Bronx school teachers, Marty and Valerie Silverberg, in 1995 who had a desire to see a Gospel preaching church planted.
The church first met in a storefront on Tremont Avenue in the Bronx, later moving to Southern Boulevard, then to a third location on Westchester Avenue, and finally to their current home on Commonwealth Avenue.
Recognizing the need for greater structure and assistance, the Silverbergs joined Baptist Mid-Missions, an independent missions agency, in 1996. Two years later in 1998, Pastor Silverberg reached out to Pastor Joel Grassi to make him aware of opportunities to serve at Commonwealth, a seed that would bear fruit ten years later when Pastor Grassi joined the church as Assistant Pastor in 2009.
Many faithful partners over the years helped make this ministry what it is today, including Pastor Sam Lake and his family, who worked with the youth in 2010-2011, as well as numerous churches and individuals from all over the world.
One of Commonwealth’s successes was the transformation of a decades-old abandoned Jewish synagogue into a beautifully restored church home. God provided the funds to demolish the roofless building and build a new worship center in its place.
Pastor Silverberg stepped down as Senior Pastor in 2013, and Pastor Joel Grassi, who had been serving at Commonwealth since 2009, was unanimously elected to step into the role of Senior Pastor.