Reverend Khader Khalilia
Pastor, Redeemer St. John’s Lutheran Church
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Reverend Khader S. Khalilia, Pastor at Redeemer St. John’s Lutheran Church on 83rd Street, has an open heart when it comes to his Dyker Heights community and open doors when it comes to the Church.
Working closely with the Dyker Heights Civic Association, Khalilia is proud to be involved with the community his church serves. From hosting classes for children with disabilities, to constant initiatives toward a universal pre-k, Khalilia believes that what he is doing helps fulfill an important need.
“My involvement with the community is through the church,” said Khalilia. “We host this organization, they meet every Sunday from two to five, [and] they help kids with disabilities and mental illnesses. This is one of the things we are offering to the community.
“We are working to add more classes and start a universal Pre-k,” Khalilia added. “We believe there is a huge need to have more universal Pre-k.”
MOTIVATION: Khalilia described the work he does as his “calling” and the main motivation behind his activeness with the community.
“We are called to open our doors and share with the community at the church,” said Khalilia. “We have these resources and there is a need in the community [so] if we are able to do that at the church, then this is a great thing. It’s about reaching out, building a connection, and networking with the community.”
CARREER: As pastor at Redeemer St. John’s Lutheran Church, Khalilia is there seven days a week and encourages the community and all who are interested to join him for Sunday mass, every week at 10:30 a.m.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “We really live in a changing culture,” said Khalilia about the challenges of change within a community. “The neighborhood is really changing, people are moving, and I think the biggest challenge is how we can adapt to the changes happening in our community.”
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT: Khalilia labels his biggest achievement as being successful in serving the needs of the community. “The ministry is moving forward,” added Khalilia. “When I see that we are opening our doors to the community, it is a big success for us.”
PERSONAL LIFE: In his spare time, Khalilia, along with his wife, enjoys doing a Japanese style of karate, practicing at times with a grandmaster. The pastor, who took up karate two years ago, has even opened the church to be used as a facility for practicing the sport.