Monday, January 15, 2007

Building a Church, and Paying Off a Sacred Debt

David Gonzalez began a three part series in the New York Times Sunday on a storefront Pentecostal church in Harlem. Monday he tells more about Pastor Danilo Florian.
The streets of Bedford Park are mercifully quiet at 6 a.m. when Pastor Florian gets up, pulls on a polo shirt, khakis and sneakers and walks to the D train for the 45-minute commute to the garment district.

He has worked in factories since arriving in New York, spending the last dozen years at Judith Leiber, where he polishes stones and precious metals for intricately jeweled handbags that fetch thousands of dollars. The bags may be delicate, but the work is exacting. When he gets home around 5 p.m., he trudges up the creaking stairs.

Then his real job begins.

He rests for a few moments, grabs a snack and dons a natty suit, tie and shined shoes. His wife by his side, he climbs into the church van to round up the congregation for that night’s services, driving all over the Bronx and Upper Manhattan. Whatever they do, he is with them, even if he is not preaching. He must set an example.

"You can’t say, 'I go to church once a week' and leave it closed the rest of the week," he explained. "When I have a church, it is open seven days a week."

Update: For comparison, in The American Lawyer,
...Nancy Kestenbaum, a litigation partner in the white collar defense group of Covington & Burling, shares the minute-by-minute details of one of her busier days.


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