Category: Youth Center
Sponsor: Tyler Ward, Nate Hamlin
Just about every Friday night a repeated problem occured. High school youth would ride up and down Main Street and congregated at the shopping center parking lot. It’s called “cruising.” It is a social event but in the eyes of city hall became a problem. After numerous failed attempts to correct the situation two enterprising college students got the attention of some of the area churches. They formed a group that solicited funds and purchased a salvage yard at the edge of town. Through their collaborative efforts they turned the salvage yard into a Christian teen nightclub. They call it “The Wreck.” Guess What? Cruising all but disappeared!
The Life Christian Church
Category: Main Street Church
West Orange, NJ
Main Street Church
The Life Christian Church was planted in the basement of an existing downtown church located on Main Street. This “basement church” grew and eventually moved a few blocks away to a storefront. located just off Main Street. City efforts to economically revitalize the square in the past had brought about few changes. The presence of The Life Christian Church is one of several factors that have resulted in a resurrection of activity. The church’s renovation efforts have included a storefront facelift, attractive building signage, and major interior improvements. Members and guests are welcomed at an inviting reception counter that opens into a concourse lined with park benches and indoor trees accented by Trivoli lights. You can smell the aromas from the cappuccino bar, deli, and small food court. The worship space is a multi-purpose room with a stage. The Life Christian Church has an enterprise ministry engaging Main Street. It is an ethnically diverse congregation, which is also reflected in its leadership. With encouragement from the city, the church has recently acquired a beautiful estate property in the town, as part of its growing campus.
Peace Lutheran Church
Category: Homeless Shelter
Sponsor: Rev. Duane Feldman
Homeless shelters create excellent opportunities to meet felt needs, demonstrate genuine care and develop relationships for sharing the gospel. Peace Lutheran in Lombard, IL is a congregation that has turned most of it’s building into a place for homeless people to rest, particularly during the frigid days and nights of winter. The church opens it’s doors on a rotation basis, along with other churches in the area. The response is outstanding. The staff at Peace interacts with those who come for shelter and food, developing relationships and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. This enterprise ministry to homeless people has energized the entire congregation as people experience the joy of sharing love and concern as well as the Good News of Jesus with people – many of whom are very discouraged.
Maranatha Sunday Restraunt
Category: Food Court
Maranatha Christian Fellowship partnered with a local food service to serve Sunday lunch in their building. Each Sunday, following worship, the restaurant is available for members. Since it is operated on a non-profit basis it provides good food with prices comoarable to any local restaurant. As a visitor to that church, you receive a guest packet that shares their Philosophy of Ministry, a daily devotional booklet and a ticket for lunch at the Maranatha Sunday restaurant – free of charge. Many take advantage of that opportunity, and when they do, they meet friendly members seeking to develop relationships. Even though the second dinner isn’t free, many people return to church because of those relationships. The church is reaching out and the congregation is growing.