Glory on Broadway
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever–increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
—2 Corinthians 3:18
Times Square, New York City—the crossroads of the world! We want to give you a brief update on what has been happening here at The Glory Shop. The Glory Shop is a 10–month school for discipleship and performing arts. We aim to disciple artists in worship, community, Word, and creativity.
From the first day in September, the students were thrown into the deep end with daily street evangelism, had many epic times of prayer and worship together with the corps, learned about Shakespeare and script writing, and put on a full off–Broadway musical. By the end of the trimester in June, they were exhausted! They are now serving with a confidence that can only come from intimacy with Christ.
Kicking off our second trimester, we hosted auditions for our second production, “Pilgrim’s Progress,” and more than 120 people wanted to audition. The cast members who have been selected have all become friends of The Glory Shop students and the soldiers of our corps.
We launched our Friday night Café 315, which is a hangout spot that holds open mic nights, poetry slams, trivia nights, karaoke, and more. People from around the city come to laugh and enjoy their time together, while drinking cappuccinos and lattes.
Our vision was so small compared to God’s vision—we thought this year was about a handful of young adults going deeper in Christ, when in fact it is about them and the hundreds of other people they will bless.
In the final trimester, we headed to Riker’s Island prison to teach Shakespeare and improv acting with the inmates. What an amazing open door! This was a perfect chance to link the arts directly to the mission of The Salvation Army. The students finished off their year by writing and directing a short musical from scratch—performed at their graduation ceremony.
Year one was more than we ever dreamed it would be.
God is blessing The Glory Shop, and now we are building on what has already been flourishing. Our current session is called “The Audacious Session.”
We added a weekly time of Undercover Special Operations in which the students are going out into the community undercover with the goal of building relationships and blessing and witnessing to their neighbors.
In year two, we also increased our dance component, in partnership with Broadway Dance Center and the Territorial Arts Ministries (TAM) team. Our December play, “The Jesus Trip,” was again open to people from the Broadway community, and the show was a hit! We are ending the year with an original musical based on the book of Esther. The show is June 6–9, and you can buy tickets now at www.thegloryshop.com. This is our first time creating our own music to go with a classical script.
One of the biggest surprises we have faced is just how much this has impacted our relationship with the Broadway community around us. We are connecting with many new neighbors. This is an answer to prayer, and the beginnings of a revival! The students are learning what it means to live as a missionary in the midst of New York City. The Glory Shop is having a powerful effect in Times Square, and in the lives of young Salvationists from around the world. The eternal impact cannot be underestimated.
Should you come to The Glory Shop? You should only come if you love Jesus, and you want to worship Him with every ounce of creative energy that flows through you. You should come to The Glory Shop if you want to deepen your understanding and your love for the Word of God. You should come if you want to experience authentic Christian community with no walls, no charade, no acting. You should come if you want to develop your gifts and push the boundaries of your God-given creativity, all for His glory and all for His fame. You should come to The Glory Shop because you want to bring other people to the powerful, saving presence of the glory of God. Come and transform the spiritual atmosphere of Broadway. Come and be transformed.
For more information on The Glory Shop and how to apply, go to www.thegloryshop.com.
by Captain Olivia Munn–Shirsath
The Army’s History in Times Square
|Brigadier Joseph Inman, a British officer, opened the Times Square Corps in 1883 as New York No. 3 Corps. Located on 7th Avenue and 34th Street, the church was also the Men’s Training Garrison—the first training school for men in the Eastern Territory.|
|Lieutenant Rheba Crawford drew large crowds to midnight open–air meetings in the theater district. Newspapermen such as Walter Winchell and Damon Runyan immortalized her. Runyon put Crawford in his short story, “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown,” on which the musical “Guys and Dolls” was based.|
|Lieutenant Lyell Rader, Sr. brought the “Glory Shop” days to Times Square. He created a portable platform with loudspeakers, which he christened the “Glory Wagon,” to enhance the open–air street ministry.|
|When the church moved to West 49th Street, glass doors were installed with a loudspeaker above them so that passersby could see inside and hear the service.|
|“Guys and Dolls” opened at the 46th Street Theater on Nov. 24, 1950 and enjoyed a run of 1,200 performances.|
|“Glory Shop” was closed and the land sold to Rockefeller Center.|
|The new Times Square Corps, dedicated to reaching the theater community, opens at 315 West 47th St.|
|“The Glory Shop” opens at the Times Square Corps to give budding artists, ages 18–35, a chance to train in Christian discipleship and the performing arts.|
|‘Pilate’ debuts as the first
Broadway–styled production by the Territorial Arts Ministries Bureau (TAM).