Pastors Come Together as Neighbors at Prayer Breakfast
Contributed by Rev. David Kasbow
Pastors came together as neighbors at our church-sponsored prayer breakfast on Saturday, April 1, at the Rhema International Church in Warren, Michigan. The program was initiated after an article appeared in The Detroit News titled, “The Forgotten Neighborhoods of South Warren.” The article outlined the difficulties the area is having. Since our church is in South Warren we felt the best way to respond was to bring the pastors of the area together to pray for the city and see what we might do to help. We have been visiting churches all over the city of Detroit for years but it was clear that it was now time to take care of the community where are church is located.
As we thought about the churches of Warren it seemed best to begin in our own backyard. There are five churches within walking distance of our church. Over the years we have visited each of them individually. Maybe now is the time to get them together. We sent a note to each of them and invited them for coffee at a local diner.
Of the five, one pastor came for coffee. It was a start. We shared about our ministries. The pastor, Bishop Eric Lloyd of Rhema International Church, just moved into the city three years ago from Detroit. He explained his ministry and the work he is doing with young people and his outreach through social media. I suggested a prayer breakfast for pastors in the area would be a good next step. Since he liked what we were doing he offered to use his facility.
We were on our way. Since the article focused on South Warren we decided to invite those pastors to attend. Warren is cut in half by a freeway so the “south” and “north” are clearly delineated. We found there are 42 churches in the south. We set about to visit each church personally with an invitation. It felt great to get to know the city from the viewpoint of its churches. On Wednesday nights our two church visitation teams each visited a church bible study to meet the pastors, check if they had received their invitation, and see if they would be able to come. We also invited our pastor friends from around Detroit that we have gotten to know over the years. And, we invited the faith-based liaison from the mayor’s office to attend.
For the main speaker we invited Rev. Gregory Guice of Unity Temple in Detroit. He is quite active in his neighborhood and with other churches as well.
The day of the program, six new pastors from Warren attended, six from our mailing list and several of their church members, members from Bishop Lloyd’s church and from ours as well. The faith-based liaison for the city of Warren came as well and gave greetings on behalf of the mayor and the city. All in all, 30 people attended.
To begin the program Rev. David Kasbow held up the newspaper article and explained how the prayer breakfast came to be. After breakfast a round of prayers were said for the neighborhoods, the city, the state, and for our nation.
Following a musical offering by the Metro Detroit Family Church International Choir, Rev. Kasbow gave a presentation stating that the key to restoring the neighborhood is by first restoring its families. Next the faith-based liaison from the mayor’s office, Ms. Kelly Colegio, gave greetings. She related some of the good work being done in the churches in both the south and the north parts of the city. Rev. Kasbow then introduced Rev. Guice who spoke on his work around his church neighborhood centered on Isaiah 61:1.
After the message, we offered pastors a time to respond. Several of our old friends shared their experience with our movement. This made a nice bridge between our pastor friends and the new pastors who attended. We decided to hold the next prayer breakfast in two months. Based on Ms. Colegio’s report, we decided to invite pastors from both the south and the north sides of the city next time.
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