On Oct. 23, Prison Fellowship and other organizations from all over the globe gathered in New York City for the fifth annual Movement Day. This event brings together leadership teams from the world’s largest cities to build partnerships that help them better reach their respective cities with the grace-filled Gospel of Christ.
Prison Fellowship‘s president and CEO, Jim Liske, brought to the table his experience helping urban areas confront issues associated with crime and incarceration. Jim served as a plenary speaker and led an interactive track on “Reintegration Strategies for the Formerly Incarcerated.” He highlighted that because the needs of the incarcerated, their families, and their communities are too overwhelming for any one organization to meet, we must orchestrate a network that can provide holistic solutions. Business leaders, public policy makers, educators, and church leaders in attendance considered how they could help to creatively influence a culture of hope and healing in their cities.
Charles Jenkins, pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Chicago, shared with Movement Day attendees what he’s been working on to influence this culture.
“As we looked at expanding (church), we didn’t just look within but we looked without. As we talk about those who are returning home from prison, we looked at the desolation, the destitution, the healthcare disparities. We looked at the unemployment rate in the neighborhood where we serve, it’s almost 70 percent. And there’s so many challenges, and that’s when we started to look at the idea to not just share the Gospel, but show the Gospel in a broader more dynamic way,” says Charles.
And so was born his Legacy Project–a way to build up the communities of Chicago.
A pastor-friend connected Charles to the Green family of Hobby Lobby Stores, and they wanted to help him with the endeavor. On stage at Movement Day last week, Charles made a big announcement: The Green family bought a 14.5-acre facility in Chicago and donated it to the Legacy Project.
Charles has plans to build an auditorium, a charter school, a community center, a retail and restaurant center, and a health care center on the property. This will create an estimated 400 jobs and become a place where the underserved can find a sense of belonging.
God can do huge things when people join together to share his love! Want to join with Prison Fellowship in helping the formerly incarcerated reintegrate into their communities around the country? Click here to see how.