Dream of Destiny is excited to share news of churches across the country that have a vision for the full expression of reconciliation that a multi-ethnic church offers. In highlighting these churches, DoD hopes you’ll be encouraged by their testimony and will pray for their progress.
Today, the spotlight is on One Church of Jackson, Mississippi. One Church is a plant that recently celebrated her first anniversary. If you like what you read below, know that One Church could use your help! One Church needs to raise an additional $100,000 over the next 12 months. If you would like to support One Church, give/donate HERE.
Thanks go out to One Church’s lead pastor, Matt McGue, who I met at the Multi-ethnic Church Planting Summit last month. Matt is a graduate of Cincinnati Christian University and Lincoln Christian University, and he is serving as today’s guest blogger.
Planting an intentional multi-ethnic, gospel-centered, community-impacting church in a very traditional southern city with historic segregation, can be challenging. It can be even more challenging when you have no prior relationships, but are confident God clearly called you. Therefore, when we moved in to our apartment in June 2013 we desperately needed God to lead our every step.
Immediately my wife and I sensed God was positioning us and divinely appointing us to meet people who were ready to hear and follow our vision for this new, seemingly radical approach to church. Attending a picnic to meet the new mayor, we started a conversation with a woman we quickly connected with who would later join our launch team and our staff. She is a morning DJ for the number one hip-hop station in Jackson. Within our first couple of months, we gained favor with the mayor, police, school system, local business leaders and pastors.
As we assessed the needs of our city and listened to those already God was using to make a difference, we stepped out and purchased a used ice cream truck, which we converted into what we call the “HOPE truck.” Our intention is to use the HOPE truck to open up relationships with children at risk and their families. We drive into apartment communities where the greatest needs exist, passing out free ice cream, fresh fruit, vegetables, school supplies, bicycle helmets, etc. The children come running when they see the truck and hear the ice cream music. We end up parking the truck and unloading a portable playground so we can spend time hanging out with the children. We end our time with a Bible story and prayer time, giving away Bibles and invites to church.
The HOPE truck has given our new church instant credibility in our city. People love the HOPE truck and invite us to join in various fundraisers, community events, school and city functions. Local businesses like Fresh Market, Subway and Walmart have become sponsors of our outreach efforts on a regular basis.
Now a year into our new church I find myself meeting with senators to discuss early childhood education funding, discussing educational equality with the state superintendent of schools, collaborating with college presidents to create partnerships foroutreach, having breakfast with the mayor to work on
city issues and meeting with faith based leaders to address the reform needed in our criminal justice system. Justice and the gospel are married and are front & center in a multi-ethnic church.
One Church has a humble beginning averaging just over 100 in worship, but with an incredible citywide influence and a big vision. Only God could have positioned us for such a time as this with such favor.
If you would like to support One Church, give/donate HERE.
About Matt McGue
Matt McGue enjoys everyone he meets. He is genuinely interested in people. In fact, he loves to listen and learn from others who are different from him. This guy can carry on a conversation with anybody, so introverts beware.
He enjoys riding his bicycle on the Trace but when he gets tired he prefers to ride his Yamaha V-Star motorcycle. Matt enjoys most sports but loves to watch college football, and like any typical man, this guy loves to eat just about anything, so cook something for him and you’ll be a friend for life. Interesting facts: Matt ran the Chicago Marathon, was adopted as a baby, graduated from Cincinnati Christian University and has been to 15 different countries.
Matt always says he “married up” and we all agree. He and Sara have celebrated over 28 years together growing in their marriage and ministry. Sara has a passion for kids and loves to teach history and is now an education consultant. They have two sons, Mike (23) and Ben (20).
Matt’s faith drives everything he does. He experienced the forgiveness and grace of God when he was in high school and it was just a few months later when he dedicated his life to pastoring and preaching.
After planting a church in Charlotte, NC in 2004, God called Matt to plant another intentional multi-ethnic church in Jackson, MS, which launched March 23, 2014.