Harlem, NY

The Gathering




Kenny and Shanika Hart

Kenny Hart is a native of Harlem. Because he excelled as an athlete, he was able to escape poverty and the narrative of death and imprisonment that trapped many of his childhood friends. As a baseball player in college, in a new state and isolated from all he had known, Kenny says, “Jesus found me and rescued me.” Kenny’s dreams changed from baseball to ministry, and he pursued theological education.

Kenny and his wife Shanika (a Brooklyn native) love the people and understand the culture of Harlem. They feel the call to give the rest of their lives to living out the gospel in this community. With the rapid changes taking place in Harlem, a seismic shift has happened in it’s demographics and wealth. This often divides the long term residents and newcomers. Kenny sees a need for the ethnic reconciliation that can happen with the spread of the Gospel.

He desires to start a church that will become a multi-ethnic, multi-generational, and socio-economically diverse church unified around the reality that Jesus is Lord.

Kenny says, “This church will be for the gentrified and gentrifier, the block and the brownstone, and we will care about the salvation of souls and bodies in the Harlem community.”

Kenny and Shanika have two children and Shanika is a social worker and therapist. For the last three years, they have been leading and learning at a church plant in NYC. They have been married for six years.