Save Our Sanctuary Campaign
Joy Tabernacle Church serves as one of Flint’s most unique urban non-denominational congregations. Sometimes referred to as the “urban young” church, most of our many members are young, unwed, and under-employed. We have the largest youth male audience in the city. Astoundingly, our young church has responded to the gospel of Christ amid their many personal struggles and past life failures. In one of Flint’s most abandoned and poverty-stricken areas, the church serves today as a beacon of life and hope for hundreds who live in Flint, the poorest and one of the most dangerous cities in America. In late 2012, disaster struck. A ceiling collapse rendered the sanctuary unsafe and the congregation was forced to move services to the fellowship hall in the church basement. Having a good insurance company, most thought the matter would be resolved soon. However, to the surprise of many members and onlookers, the State Farm Insurance company determined the sanctuary was built improperly and did not honor its policy. Of course, the church challenged the decision, but the insurance company prolonged the legal process for several years until a settlement that did not give enough compensation to repair the ceiling was reached.
As we began seeking alternatives to restore the sanctuary, the Flint Water Crisis struck. With the nation’s eyes on Flint, Joy Tabernacle put its’ rebuilding efforts aside to offer a critical hand to the many individuals and families that were being exposed to poisoned water. The Joy Tabernacle Church became the main source for grassroot relief from the water crisis and helped set a model for addressing hard to reach populations affected by the water crisis.
Now that the Flint Water Crisis has stabilized, the Church congregation is once again focused on restoring the sanctuary. However, this time we are focused on transforming the sanctuary into a multipurpose facility that serves as a hub of activity in the historic Civic Park Neighborhood. In 2019, Civic Park will celebrate it’s 100-year anniversary, and Joy Tabernacle’s partner community development agency, the Urban Renaissance Center (URC) is leading a neighborhood-wide transformation for the celebration. Pastor Robert McCathern has stated, “The water crisis helped us realize the importance of becoming a holistic and all-encompassing place to offer not only the message of Christ, but the reality of his Kingdom on earth.” The once Gothic sanctuary area will be an even more significant anchor for the community, restored to offer a greater array of ministries and programs for a community in distress that is recovering from the trauma of the Flint Water Crisis in addition to the social ills that face of post-industrial cities like Flint.
The most distinguishing attribute of Joy Tabernacle is our social platform and commitment to do ministry from a holistic perspective. The church established URC in 2011 to address the many social perils that surrounded the church. The social service URC ministry is a separate faith-based non-profit organization that offers diverse social supports, a computer lab, job training, food and clothing distribution and revitalization projects for the Civic Park Neighborhood and Greater Flint area.
The current cost to restore the sanctuary to its previous state, with significant donations from local contractors and architects, is $280,000. Re-opening the sanctuary will allow Joy Tabernacle and URC to further grow our work restoring the Flint community, while serving as a focal point for the Civic Park centennial celebration in 2019. Please Support us by making a donation to:
Donate Via Mail
Joy Tabernacle Church
RE: SOS Restoration Project
2505 N. Chevrolet Ave.
Flint, MI 48504
Church related news articles:
Flint church stays strong despite ceiling collapse – abc12.com
A collapsed ceiling has been at the center of a legal battle between a Mid-Michigan church and an insurance company. Because of it, Joy Tabernacle Church in Flint’s Civic Park neighborhood has been without a sanctuary for the past three years…
Church acts as hub for neighborhood improvement – ABC12
FLINT (WJRT) – A local church is acting as a hub for neighborhood improvement this summer, and those improvements aren’t limited to the buildings in the area. Joy Tabernacle Church was established in Flint’s Civic Park neighborhood about…