Faith in a Fallen Empire
"I didn't realize how deeply I'd be offended when other people, even Christians, would joke about Detroit," says Foster. "It's like they were making fun of my kid."
Carey and Foster say that as Detroit adjusts to a new set of migrants—those with hope, creativity, and incredible privilege—Christians in Detroit must keep a city with a battered soul spiritually intact.
"Who advocates for Grandma, who has worked here forever, who loves this city but is unable to fix her roof?" says Carey. "What about the young man who has gone through the public schools and still can't read and is now approaching 20 with no source of income? Who speaks for them?
"We can't let businesses or the government be responsible for the soul of the city. That's what Detroit is known for—its soul."
A drive along Woodward Avenue might suggest that Detroit's soul has left the building. But stay awhile and drive through Boston-Edison, through Piety Hill, along Wyoming Street, in the places where Christians have chosen in faith to stay instead of leave. There, you'll find an empire fallen but far from forgotten.
Katelyn Beaty is managing editor of Christianity Today and editorial director of This Is Our City.