Why Church Partnerships Really Matter in Detroit
"We finish a job and pray with the family," says Addy, a lifelong Detroiter. "Every job is like testimony after testimony."
This summer he'll help renovate a block of Detroit homes around a newly constructed one in a joint project with Life Remodeled, another EACH partner ministry. But Addy has plenty of work in economically depressed south Warren, where Lord of the Harvest sits a half-mile from 8 Mile.
One Macomb, an EACH cluster of 40 Macomb County churches, in September targeted that neighborhood and its elementary school for a blitz of yard cleanups, house fix-ups and prayer. The City of Warren got fully behind the effort.
"Government can only go so far," says City Councilwoman Kelly Colegio. "The church can go one step farther and fix the spiritual problem that is the root cause."
At Lord of the Harvest, Colegio has helped Mike Osminski set up a Neighborhood Watch program and get a grant for a community garden. Osminski considers his neighborhood of transient renters and working poor his parish.
"We're not just pastoring a church; we're pastoring a neighborhood," Osminski says.
Back at Oak Pointe Church in Novi, Shirock and Brooks speak of new EACH plans: a push for marriage and family, including conferences, prayer vigils, and counseling. The prayer walk is taking a year off and the budget considerably downsized from the $1 million marketing blitz of 2011.
But both pastors say EACH is very much on the move: Argentina has launched a similar effort; Crossing London – Mission 2013 has consulted with them; and Franklin Graham has inquired about a Detroit crusade. That's a sign of progress made since Billy Graham was rumored to have said he'd never return to such a racially divided city, Brooks says.
He and Shirock have faith in a risen Detroit that will reflect the biblical quote on its iconic Spirit of Detroit statue: "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."