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Church of the Oranges Wins “Best of Orange” Award

By Taashi Rowe

What would it take for your church to be considered one of the best in your community? If you asked Allegheny East Conference’s Church of the Oranges’ senior pastor, D. Robert Kennedy, EdD; PhD, he would say it takes having an intense interest in community.

The U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA) recently named this church of some 840 members, a “Best of Local Business” in the places of worship category for Orange, N.J.

According to a USLBA press release, “Each year, the USLBA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.”

When asked what he thinks makes the Church of the Oranges the best church in the city, Kennedy—who was recently appointed police chaplain for the city—points out the church’s involvement in a twice monthly shelter feeding program, a life-skills program for high school students, nursing home visitations, and its weekly soup kitchen.

“We cannot be isolated,” he says. “Every church needs to be involved in community service. And our members and structures need to be very welcoming. We are a very intergenerational church with a strong emphasis on youth and music outreach.”

The church recently upgraded its exterior. Kennedy, who has been at the church for two years, explains that a welcoming church structure should have proper lighting and signage that will make it easy for people to find it.