"Cancer Doesn't Deter Launch" – AG News
Pastors Stephen and Priscilla Perumalla admit that giving up the wide-open spaces and easy-going ways of Texas for the teeming streets of New York City represented a culture shock.
But being strangers in a strange land? That seemed easy, compared to Stephen’s two bouts with cancer that nearly derailed their call to plant an Assemblies of God fellowship in Hamilton Heights, an ethnically diverse and economically challenged Upper Manhattan neighborhood.
The now 36-year-old received his first diagnosis of testicular cancer in the spring of 2014, not long after the couple decided to wrap up his youth/young adult pastor’s duties at The Grace Place in Arlington to plant a new church in Hamilton Heights. But surgeons successfully removed the tumor, and he made a quick and full recovery.
So, the Perumallas and their children, then-5-year-old Boston and his 3-year-old sister Aviah, moved to New York in July 2015. As he and Priscilla worked to get settled, build relationships, and start a fledgling home fellowship, Stephen’s subsequent check-ups with doctors showed no further cause for alarm. After they attended a Church Multiplication Network Launch event, nothing seemed to stand in the way of their plans to officially launch The Grace Place NYC before the end of 2016.…