Here you'll find a summary

of the vision that burns in our hearts, 

the core beliefs that undergird our community, 

and an overview of our leadership team. 

Our Vision

". . . Christ in you, the hope of glory."
(Colossians 1:27)

In the original language of the scriptures, the word almond literally means awake. This is because the almond tree was known as the first tree to awaken from its winter slumber. It blossoms with new life and calls the rest of the trees of the field to wake up as well. The Almond Branch is a church and resource center that seeks to awaken God's sons and daughters to their identity and equip them for their destiny.

Awake to Identity

Arise in Wholeness

Advance with Joy

As people awake to the goodness of God and to their true selves, they will arise and blossom with the life of Christ within. This happens in the context of community and friendship. Out of this, we then advance God's kingdom with the joy and power of the Holy Spirit.

We see many things developing in the days ahead, such as an arts center, a place for ongoing worship and prayer, identity-based recovery programs, and much more that has yet to be revealed. In the midst of this, we see a movement of new spiritual communities being birthed, all of which will be centered around the finished work of Christ.

We know there are others God has called to help us fulfill this vision and we cannot do it without them. Perhaps you are one of them! 

What We Believe

"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." - A.W. Tozer

The following is one of the oldest Christian writings. It sums up the essence of our faith...

The Apostle's Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy universal church; the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.


Pastors & Staff

Nick Padovani

Lead Pastor

Eleven years ago, Nick was called into leadership of the Almond Branch through a wonderful succession of the previous team. He has a heart to see God’s Kingdom revealed on earth in all its glorious expressions.  Over the years, Nick has led several other ministries and outreaches throughout New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, alongside his wife Kelly. Together, they have ministered to the young and old alike, in settings such as schools, nursing homes, churches, diners, and private homes. Nick has been privileged to speak at several secular colleges and many different denominations of churches, with a passion to see unity amongst the entire Body of Christ. He holds a Master of Social Work and a BA in Counseling and is actively involved in social work endeavors in his local community. He and his wife Kelly have three beautiful daughters: Annabelle, Morgan, and Eden. Nick is also the author of the Song of the Ages series and oversees Eyes Open Press, a Christian publishing organization. 

Michael Montalbano

Executive Pastor

At the Almond Branch we are building a community and resource center that we believe will impact  generations to come. Mic is a key leader and organizer within the unfolding of this sprawling vision. 

April Bongiardino

Administrative Pastor

All the varying activities within our community are tied together by the same heart and vision.  April is at the center of this, helping to foster healthy communication and organization within the Almond Branch family. 

Manuel Rhinesmith 

Worship  Director

Intimate, joyful, and Spirit-led worship is one of the crowning jewels of the Almond Branch.  We're grateful to have Manuel's leadership in overseeing a growing group of musicians and artists who carry the heart of worship. 

Jeff and Renee Gunther 

Children and Family Ministry Leaders

Children and families are the true heartbeat of our community. Jeff and Renee oversee an amazing team of people who help provide care, love, and fun for every age. 

Pat Creighton

Property Council Lead

Our building and land are a wonderful blessing to our community. Pat oversees the management and care of the grounds and leads those who volunteer in maintaining and beautifying them. 

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