Ass. Pastor, Carmine Carannante
I was born and raised in Williamsburg Brooklyn with two older sisters. We had two wonderful parents who loved us very much and worked hard to provide us with a better life than what they had. My dad was a baker and worked two jobs while my mom was a homemaker raising me and my two sisters and taking care of our home.
As any other young boy growing up in Brooklyn, I was very active and could be found involved in just about any activity, from baseball and football to soccer or just riding my bike. During my Junior and Senior years of high school, I had the desire to enter into the military and become a United States Marine. After one year of college, I enlisted into the United States Marine Corps. A year after graduating from Parris Island, my Reserve unit was activated to serve in the first Gulf War. At that time, we were stationed at Camp Pendleton California, during the Desert Shield/Desert Storm Air Campaign. After three months of desert training, the ground war commenced. In the midst of preparations for Saudi Arabia, the four day ground offensive was over and our unit headed back home instead of Saudi Arabia.
Once I returned home, I went back to college and pursued a degree in mechanical engineering. During my college years a childhood friend of mine approached me one day and told me that I needed to be born again in order to get to heaven. I emphatically responded, “No you don’t!” So I started to read the Bible in order to prove him wrong. The more I read, the more I realized I was wrong and he was right. The Bible does teach you must be born again in order to see or enter the kingdom of God…flesh gives birth to flesh, but spirit gives birth to spirit (John 3:6). So at the age of 22, I committed my life to Jesus Christ and decided to live a life according to His teachings and purpose for my life. From that moment on, my life had changed and I experienced God’s presence. Over the next several years I finished my service in the United States Marine Corps Reserves and completed my education and received a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and eventually obtained my Professional Engineering License and currently work for an engineering company in NYC.
As a new believer, finding a church was not simple. My childhood friend and I started to attend a well known non-denominational church in Manhattan. After four years of Christian growth, we knew it was time to leave that church. At about the same time, we heard Pastor Recker preach on the radio and that he was starting a church in Manhattan. It was in the summer of 1996 we visited Heritage Baptist Church, which then was meeting in a YMCA on 23rd street and 8th Avenue. The preaching was solid and it challenged me to study the Bible more. Over the next 18 years I was blessed to be under the preaching and teaching of Pastor Recker. His life exemplified I Timothy 2:2, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach other also.” I immediately started serving the Lord in various ministries. I became involved in the ushering and greeting ministry, the tract ministry, counting the offering and making the weekly deposits, church setup and eventually attended the Heritage Discipleship Institute. God brought more opportunities to serve, as the church voted me in as one of the Deacons. I started to lead our home fellowship groups, teach the Adult Bible Fellowship during our Sunday School hour, go on home visitations with Pastor Recker, record and duplicate the Sunday sermons, attend the Heritage of Faith Radio Program as a call screener and council and pray with people. By God’s grace and provision, I went on the several short term mission trips Heritage was a part of, including Brazil, Ireland, Haiti and Russia. God has also allowed me the privilege of standing in the pulpit and lead our Wednesday night prayer meetings, on a few occasions preach during our Sunday Morning Service when Pastor Recker is away. Currently I lead our singles ministry as we dedicate time to encouraging and serving one another in fellowship, prayer, devotions in God’s Word and various activities.
On May 25, 2014, the church overwhelmingly voted me in as Assistant Pastor. On June 1, 2014, the church held an Ordination Service to commemorate this special occasion and I had the joy and privilege of having my dear mother and sister attend our Sunday Service. The Lord continues to show His faithfulness and provision as we seek to be a church committed to proclaiming the Truth of His Word in this city.