John Murray, Lead Pastor

Catalyst Vineyard Church

(607) 227-2730

ITHACA, N.Y., Sunday November 1, 2015 – Catalyst Vineyard Church is a community of people who are working to create a comfortable environment where all people in Ithaca, regardless of where they are on their spiritual journey, their education level, economic standing, or ethnic background, can connect with God and experience an authentic community of faith. The church rents the performance space and lobby area from the Kitchen Theatre Company for weekly services on Sundays from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon.

We believe that church belongs in the middle of the marketplace, and ought to be the most creative place on the planet,” says Lead Pastor John Murray, who along with his wife Kathy is a co-founder of Catalyst Vineyard Church. Murray holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University (1978) and a graduate degree from Ithaca College (1983). He led Ithaca College Wrestling to three NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships during a 15-year coaching career from 1980 to 1995 and is currently bi-vocational also serving as the CEO and co-owner of Advantage Sport & Fitness, one of the most successful commercial fitness equipment distributors in North America that he started in his basement in 1987.

Kathy Murray, also an Ithaca College graduate, has served as a teacher in the Ithaca School District since 1997. Kathy defines the church’s name, catalyst, as “an instrument or agent of change that removes barriers and ignites transformation in a natural way”. She states “we desire to do just that for people who have been disillusioned by previous church experiences and are looking for a casual relaxed atmosphere to pursue faith and community”.

The Murrays started the church in their living room earlier this year, began holding monthly services at The Kitchen Theatre in May, and later commenced weekly services the last Sunday of August. The church has grown from a handful of adults and children to approximately 80 adults and 30 children ages 2 -12 in its brief six month history.

***About Catalyst***

Catalyst Vineyard Church is a member of Vineyard USA, a network of 1,500 churches worldwide, committed to seeing each generation reached by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Birthed in the late 1970s in Southern California and led by the late John Wimber, the Vineyard Movement has become one of the most influential church movements of the 20th-21st centuries.

At Catalyst Vineyard Church you will experience the following:

  • A welcoming atmosphere with casual attire.
  • Friendly encouraging people.
  • Passionate live worship music led by quality local artists.
  • A fun safe environment for your children at Catalyst Kids, held next door at the VFW second story meeting room.
  • Free coffee, tea, bottled water, juice, bagels and fruit at Catalyst Café.
  • Relevant bible-based messages you can apply to your life.
  • People who are searching for purpose and real community.

You are invited to join us for a Sunday service soon.

Check out our website:

Mike Blaney

Mike Blaney is the executive director and co-founder of The Ithaca Voice.