NewsDetroit Churches Vow To Serve Detroit During NFL Draft

Detroit Churches Vow To Serve Detroit During NFL Draft

As the Detroit Free Press reports, Gena Williams McClanahan is focused on helping the city recover from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as keeping the parishioners of the church focused on the lessons and application provided by the Bible. “The Bible is your study guide for life. And regardless of what comes at you, there is something in the Bible that speaks to it,” Williams McClanahan said, ahead of teaching a “survey of the Old Testament” to eight church members using Zoom. 

Williams McClanahan continued, “This neighborhood in northwest Detroit has been hard hit by COVID-19; we’ve had economic difficulties and other issues, so we try to bring light into the community and uplift everybody. You can’t uplift one person and leave three behind — everyone should be uplifted. So, it’s not just downtown Detroit that needs to be uplifted, it’s the whole of Detroit that needs to be uplifted. The draft is only here for three days and then they’re gone — we’re here always.”

William Burke, the director of the Ministry of Christian Education at First Baptist International, spoke about the city’s synchrony with the NFL and what he sees as the city’s connection to the tourists heading into town for the NFL Draft. “One of the first things that people coming into our city will see are a whole bunch of churches on different corners, and for me, that’s a good thing.”

Burke continued, “That tradition does not take a break, even during the draft. So our work must not stop, including Bible study on Thursdays, because it’s all about helping people to be fully equipped for life when they step outside of these doors. But as we also look at the great landscape being created downtown and think about all of the tourists that are coming in, it’s important for us to ask how does that impact not only how we evangelize, but more importantly, how do we do what God asks us to do, and that is to serve.” 

Other churches, like Ebenezer AME Church in Detroit’s historically Black neighborhood of Nardin Park, will be engaging in community service outreach by the time the draft kicks off.

Edna Walker, a member of the church, told the Detroit Free Press that the work of the church in the community is important to her. “The draft is important because there are people in Detroit that will be helped by it, and I wish I could take some people down from our church to see everything that will be happening, but what we do as a church to support people in our community on a regular basis is extremely important as well.”

Walker continued, “The church represents the people and the community, and when our people had nowhere else to go, the church was there. Our reason for existing is to serve our fellow man. Providing food is something that we have been doing for just the past two or three years, and we didn’t do it with the idea of trying to replace any existing agencies, but the need for food among our vulnerable populations has increased. From what we have seen, that need for food is increasing. And when the draft is over, there will still be many people in need.”

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Source: Black Enterprise

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