Empowering people through faith
When Jeff and Sue Rowe moved back to the Westside in June 2003, they saw the Hilltop with a new perspective than they had while growing up there.
After having already helped plant a church in Cleveland, they found inspiration to begin a new church, Faith Community Ministry, in the neighborhood where they were raised.
“We really believe in living in the area we’re serving,” Family Ministry Director Sue Rowe said.
According to Rowe, her and husband, Jeff, found their calling in their early 30s – and were greatly moved by the words of their former pastor who challenged people to plant churches in declining cities and to move back into their communities to help build-up the neighborhoods.
After speaking with local friends and neighbors they found there to be a great need for after school activities, requested by the community, as a way to keep children off the streets. While the Faith Community Ministry has had a few locations throughout the Hilltop, they also reach out and meet the public at their homes and other venues as well.
“It helps us to interact with the community, when we’re outside the walls of our building,” Rowe said. “It’s kind of building a sense of family.”
What began as an after school tutoring program once a week with a half dozen children, has now expanded to a growing number of programs such as numerous fellowship, tutoring, social events and Bible studying groups.
Most recently Faith Community installed a new program designed for women seeking help to overcome “past hurts, hang-ups and habits.” Entitled, “Celebrate Recovery,” this program hopes to provide an outlet for the women of the community to overcome the hurdles, which may be having continual impacts on their lives.
“We really want to empower people,” Rowe said.
According to Rowe, the program has a few members in it, but they welcome more. Meeting every Thursday at 7 p.m., Rowe said that part of the healing process is to be around people you can trust.
“A lot of people don’t have healthy friendships,” Rowe said, adding that they can help create a support system for somebody who, might otherwise, not know where or who to turn to. Building trusting relationships with those a person may confide to can be the first step toward recovery.