Mike Signorelli: From being an atheist to becoming a leading pastor

A lot of people often find it difficult to admit the claims of Christianity or believe in God. Such people clearly follow the route of atheism in an attempt to make sense of life. On the other hand, there are many who change their mind eventually, as they grow up and explore their personal journey, only to realize the significance and existence of the supernatural power and a benevolent creator. Similar to this is the story of Mike Signorelli, the lead pastor and founder of the New York-based V1 church.

Having spent most of his years caring for his then bedridden mother by dropping out of school in the 10th grade, Signorelli’s knowledge and approach towards religion as well as spirituality remained dark, undecided, and muddled. With time, as experiences encountered in life, his hostility and scepticism towards religious faith, which developed in his teen years under the influence of unwise thinkers, started to fade and his quest to becoming a believer commenced.

Eventually, Signorelli’s long-lived dream to pursue higher education came to life after he got back to his GED and furthermore, graduated from Indiana University – Bloomington. As someone who witnessed and surpassed the two extreme phases in life; his discussions, approach, and objections were welcomed highly welcomed by the community who sought his lessons by attending an undergraduate class where he taught the area of world religion, which seemed nothing but illuminating to the recipients.

This admiration from people of all age groups to understand the depth of the power of the cosmic dictator and overall importance of religious faith evoked the idea in him and his wife, Julie, to establish the V1 Church in New York City. He added to this, “It all started when I attended a conference which was hosted by a renowned futurist where he happened to enlighten the need of the hour in the society and how some of us could prove to be of help or a mere source of positivity. The moment he shed light on the fact that as global access to necessities goes on rising, the need for humanity, compassion, and empathy will take a front seat and be of spiritual importance more than ever. This anticipation shook each one of us in the auditorium, for better. That’s when I realized that people, including me, are not necessarily in search of organized religion to follow but rather in a desperate quest to find meaning.”

In Signorelli’s view, the objective behind starting V1 was very sincere and for a strong purpose. After having found that only about 5% of the population in New York city attends church, for reasons best known to them, having a go-to place which is not a proselytizing church, would change these figures and people’s outlook overall. Thus, he and his wife designed V1 in a manner that would seamlessly enable atheists, agnostics, free-thinkers, and those with bitter-sweet past church experiences to step in without hesitation.

When we look at it closely, Signorelli’s vision seems unique and determined, one that lays priority on deeper concepts and not conservative blinded canons. His initiative through V1 demonstrates that it’s not just about preaching the gospel but also creating a dais for people to unburden themselves and explore the truth of their lives.  

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