TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Danny Castro believes Tarrytown Music Hall is the perfect partner for Fortress Bible Church. As the lead pastor for the church, Castro is excited to bring his passion to the new venue starting on Easter Sunday, April 20.
“When you think about a church, you think about a traditional building with the stained glass windows and the distance between the people and the pastor,’’ Castro said. “There’s an immediate distance. We want to create an environment where people who are far from God can feel closer. We want an environment where people who haven’t been to church, or did go and didn’t like it, would feel comfortable with it. That’s why meeting in the theater is good for us. I want them to leave church and say ‘I can’t wait to go back!’’’
Castro’s energy and personality shines in conversation, through his delivery and music. He has been the lead pastor at Fortress Bible Church for the past 1½ years. He previously worked as the church's youth pastor four years ago before moving to Texas for a brief period of time. He has worked in the ministry for a total of six years and graduated from the Elim Bible Institute near Rochester in 2008.
Castro said Fortress Bible Church had been in Mount Vernon for nearly 40 years, but held a soft opening at Tarrytown Music Hall in March, and holds office space in Watercooler at 21 N. Broadway in Tarrytown.
“The church had been trying to move out of our building for 15 years and we felt like the Music Hall was a good venue for us,’’ Castro said. “It provides the kind of atmosphere and environment that is conducive to our mission.”
Castro said one aspect that sets Fortress Bible Church apart from other churches is its focus on energetic music. “The music and message from our services are culturally engaging,’’ he said. “It’s highly inspirational. Our music and message really resonate with our members.”
Castro’s vision and enthusiasm strikes a chord with younger audiences in particular, who enjoy the upbeat and artistic approach. Fortress has several ministries dedicated exclusively to younger churchgoers.
“Our church is multi-generational,’’ Castro said. “We have a favorable mix. I can’t say we’re falling into one kind of demographic. By moving to the Tarrytown Music Hall, with the lights and the stage, that will appeal to more artistic crowds. We’re trying to reach people who have distanced themselves from the church. We want people from our church to feel hope and rescued from darkness.”
Services on Easter Sunday start at 10 a.m. The church opens at 9 a.m. and childcare is available. Castro is excited about his new surroundings, and being part of the Tarrytown community.
“Tarrytown is such a beautiful community,’’ he said. “They are some of the nicest people on the planet. I’m excited to be in the area and be a life-giving church and not feel judged or put off. We want people in our church to feel hope. This is my life, and this is my calling.”