And the One became Two

Kingston is leading by example – A church plant, planted a church. We spent the day uncovering the story behind Next & Rustle. Here’s a snippet of what we discovered…

Next

Next was one of the first ‘new forms’ on the block. Spirited yet uncouth, they came onto the scene in 1998 by the original efforts of Al Doeseger, and our very own Jared Siebert. From what we gleaned, it’s been (and continues to be) a journey of self discovery for its leaders, both past and present. Currently at the wheel is Gary Castle, a Queens grad who majored in biology, interned at the church, then came on staff alongside Doeseger.

N.B-From the beginning, a vital component of DNA had already been ingrained: Next was going to plant again, and the preferred method was to recruit and commission from within.

So, in 2006, Doeseger leaves Next to plant Rustle (12 blocks north) and Castle takes the helm.

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Gary Castle

Rustle

“We’re chasing poverty north and dysfunction west” says Doeseger who converted a former Polish hall into sacred space. How sacred you say? The top floor is a western themed meeting room, and the lower level is a Value Village themed trading post. The picket fenced backyard hems in a community garden where freshly washed clothes hang from the line above. True to his Methodist roots, Doeseger is a folk-theologian, working with the common people: Bartering a deal on a used ceiling fan, burying a dead cat, propping the front door open in case anyone wants to come in and talk. How much more spiritual can it get?

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Al (at right) and his trusty steed Brandon

To fittingly bookend the day we had dinner with Matt and and his girlfriend, Cass. Matt is thinking about interning at Next…and so it begins.

P.S. For trivia purposes, the idea for this project first hatched a year ago in the top floor apartment of Rustle (which btw pays for a majority of the building’s mortgage). I thought to myself…this is the beginning of a great story. Someone’s gotta tell it…