Reader feedback: Is your church involved in ministry to the poor and homeless?
A front-page story in the latest Christian Chronicle print edition features the River City Ministry in North Little Rock, Ark.:
Physical needs draw upward of 200 clients a day to the River City Ministry, which grew out of a Vacation Bible School organized by the Little Rock-area Levy Church of Christ at a subsidized housing project in 1989.
The ministry operates a day shelter, a food pantry, a clothing closet and medical and dental clinics. It provides job and counseling referrals.
However, River City’s staff members and volunteers say the ministry fulfills a higher calling: serving spiritual needs of the poor, oppressed and hurting.
In the last five years, the ministry has celebrated more than 1,000 baptisms and restorations.
Jim Harbin, who coordinates the National Urban Ministry Conference (which will be Feb. 28 to March 2 at the North City Church of Christ in St. Louis), describes River City as “one of the best models for an urban ministry that serves the poor.
“Meeting the physical and spiritual needs of individuals under one roof is a strategic model for transforming lives,” said Harbin, senior minister for the Raleigh Community Church of Christ in Memphis, Tenn., and a site coordinator for the Powerlines Community Network.
But as Harbin points out, River City is just one of a number of ministries associated with Churches of Christ that are serving the poor, homeless and downtrodden. Examples: HopeWorks in Memphis, FaithWorks in Abilene, Texas, and the Impact Houston Church of Christ.
Reader feedback: Is your church involved in ministry to the poor and homeless? Please describe your church’s efforts, goals and results. Be sure to include your name, home congregation, city and state in case we decide to quote you.