by Adam Gustine; Director LMDJ Ministry Initiatives
Over the past two years, the ECC has developed a new approach to collaboration between local church, conference and Covenant Offices centered on affordable housing in low income communities. The pilot project was located in Dolton, IL in partnership with the Central Conference and New Zion Covenant led by Pastor Lance Davis. This partnership has yielded incredible results in a short amount of time as blighted homes are restored, families access safe and stable housing, local residents find employment, and all of this has happened with a local ECC church at the center. Because of that church, this work has also included access to food, mental health counseling, after school programs, and a supportive Christian community where people feel welcome and are able to encounter the love of Jesus and his people in concrete and incredible ways.
In LMDJ, we have been privileged to collaborate on this project and are excited about Phase 2 of Bezalel (the name of the affordable housing arm of the ECC). Phase 2 is launching now in Detroit, MI in collaboration with the Great Lakes Conference and the incredible ministry happening in the Brightmoor neighborhood through City Covenant Church. City Covenant, led by Pastor Semmeal Thomas, is deeply engaged in a neighborhood experiencing deep poverty. City Covenant is working against food insecurity, addiction, crime, through amazingly compassionate ministries which connect meaningfully with their neighbors across the generational and cultural spectrum. This is a church making a significant impact in their community and we are eager to see the ways in which God will work through this next phase of ministry there.
As we all well know, access to safe and stable housing is an essential human need. For the church committed to demonstrating and proclaiming a whole gospel to the whole world, engaging the work of affordable housing is a no brainer. We want to be a part of helping churches move into this kind of work which offers the world such a compelling picture of the Kingdom of God. As we move into the future, we have designed Launch50, to be a platform through which we might tell these stories of transformation, share vision for the future, and bring together partners in the work for the glory of God and our neighbors good in communities across the country. To learn more about the work of affordable housing through LMDJ and the ECC email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our webpage www.launch50.org.