Since arriving at the URM and skid row I asked a lot of questions to get acclimated to this mission field. One missing ingredient I noticed was the absence of a thriving, vibrant, bible-teaching, evangelical African-American church within the confines of skid row even though the largest percentage of those experiencing homelessness are African-American. I began to pray and seek a solution. God has changed all that… Life-changing transformation and long term recovery will not be accomplished without the Spirit of God working internally and commitment to the body of Christ (Church) externally. Skid Row would benefit tremendously if we could see an existing, effective church expand to start a satellite church in skid row.
The URM leadership were so supportive they were willing to offer our chapel on Sunday mornings free of any charge to the right church.
God directed me to talk to a pastor on staff at one of the most influential predominantly African-American churches in the L.A. area. Faithful Central Bible Church (FCBC) in Inglewood has a thriving ministry in the Los Angeles community and a pastor of world-wide influence, Bishop Kenneth Ulmer. As the leaders of FCBC and the URM began to talk and pray God directed and moved the church to agree to launch a new church plant within the walls of the Union Rescue Mission right in the heart of skid row. For the next 8 months the church began strategizing the opening of the new church. They began by investing in the hiring of a campus pastor with a heart for the hurting, Pastor Omar Muhammad. He is a well-educated, former Theology professor as well as an experienced servant of God and passionate preacher in his own right. Pastor Omar occupies an office on the first floor of the URM and is available for counseling during the week. He also oversees the many FCBC volunteers (called Love Ambassadors) that are committed to the downtown satellite church at the URM. They hold mid-week small group bible studies for men and women.
“At Faithful Central Bible Church Downtown LA (FCBCDTLA) campus we are not trying to get members we are proactively making disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ; while at the same time developing Champions for divine deployment.” – Pastor Omar
This Sunday, July 7th celebrates the 1st year anniversary of the church. Bishop Ulmer will officially celebrate this major milestone on July 21st in person at the mission just as we started it. All are welcomed to celebrate this work of God at URM. We want to praise God for the great things he has done… from finding a relevant church to take this on in the first place to seeing the fruit of this effective ministry on the front lines of the battle of homelessness. Together, FCBC and the URM are partners in the gospel to extend help and hope to those experiencing homelessness as well as the residents of skid row.
Please join me today and lifting prayers of gratitude for Bishop Ulmer and his leadership team who were willing to start a skid row church which surely will drain money from the existing church coffers but add souls to the kingdom of God. The church attendance is already averaging 120 adults and children. People come forward at every service to make spiritual decisions to follow Christ or get more involved in serving Christ. Since our start over 21 people were baptized into Christ through this holy partnership
Join me in praying this weekend for Pastor Omar as he leads the charge onsite on the front line of the battle field. Pray for his ministry and family. I also want to encourage and invite you to visit the church at the URM chapel on Sunday mornings at 9:30am. You will be moved by the inspirational live worship music, the friendliness and organization of the church team, and the powerful messages of Pastor Ulmer streamed in from the home church in Inglewood. I’ve attended many times and I always leave more connected to Christ and amazed at how appropriate the messages are for our people here on skid row.
Pastor Dan Anderson