An open door creates community in Durham, North Carolina

Charles Greenyer

Charles Greenyer 1980 –

After leaving the Bruderhof at twenty – “I grew up in the community, but wanted to find my own answers” – Charles spent a year in Ireland and then studied computer programming and found a job on Fire Island: 

I pretty much threw away everything I’d grown up with. I wanted to make money, to have fun. Over time, though, I found that pursuing my own dream didn’t fulfill me. I had this sense of isolation – in myself, but also in the people around me. The cutthroat competition was a real eye-opener for me. I realized that I actually wanted to follow Jesus; to center my life on him. That eventually led me back to the community. 

In 2017, Charles and his wife, Ilace, moved to Durham, North Carolina, to lead a Bruderhof house whose primary focus is a campus ministry, Acts2 at Duke.

I try to meet each person with the thought, “Here is another being made by God, who needs love and forgiveness like I do.”
Ilse von Köller, nurse and Bruderhof member

We had no idea how fulfilled we’d be here. Not having children of our own has been a source of pain to us. But developing relationships with the students that come to us has been amazing. It’s like they become family.

We started by hosting a dinner once a week, and seeing who showed up. Now, we regularly set the table for twenty. We eat together, play games, sing, and talk. We’ve found such a hunger for genuine community: for an atmosphere of love and joy. We all need to share our anxieties and burdens, and for that you need a safe place and a listening ear.

Ryanne and Marcella studying in Peckham House, London
Ryanne and Marcella studying in Peckham House, London

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