Guns

Victory Church Trades Christmas Gifts for Illegal Guns, Then Gives Gifts

Photo by Lynda Edwards



ALBANY – Gifts for Guns is a successful Christmas tradition at Albany’s Church of Victory, with people handing over illegal firearms in exchange for a Visa gift card.

For 10 years, Pastor Charlie Muller has overseen the program, this year teaming up with the Albany County District Attorney to arrange for the safe deposit of rifles and handguns at the Quail Street Church. Muller has a hoodie emblazoned with the words, “Live God, Love Hope, Change the World.” He wants the arms swap to change the world to a safer one for city neighborhoods.

But that’s not all Victory’s energetic, dedicated and diverse congregation has done for the community this Christmas. Church members purchased and wrapped gifts for 900 foster children in group homes. Volunteers also filled stockings with M&Ms, Snickers, Milky Ways and other candies for each child.

This year, Victory Church opened a “free store” for children in foster care and those who were 18 and aging out of the system. The store is nestled on the first floor of the office building that Victory Church owns on Central Avenue in Albany. Foster children can get clothing, personal care items, cleaning and housekeeping supplies for free or for a nominal price at the store.