To Re-Community the Community
We are to be the hands, the feet, the face, and the voice of Jesus on Flint's East Side.
In the summer of 2014, local pastors from the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS) prayerfully considered how the Church could help transform a struggling congregation on Flint’s East Side into a vibrant hub of mission and revival. With the blessing and support of Michigan District of the LCMS, a 5-year financial and servanthood commitment was made by 9 congregations and even more individuals. By the end of 2015, in cooperation with the Genesee County Land Bank, the first steps of the plan were completed, as over 500 faithful volunteers helped clear rubbish and debris from more than 175 vacant lots in our neighborhood.
By 2019 programs such as Franklin Avenue Diner, Personals Closet and Mercy House as well as ministries like the Upper Room were fully operational as a result of the faithfulness and dedication of the mission founders and Church laity. The Luke Clinic also recently launched their Flint location at the Franklin Avenue Mission campus and have started serving local mothers and infants with free prenatal and infant care.
The end of the original five-year plan culminated in the hiring and calling of Rachel Siemen and Rev. Christian Jones, who now oversee the operations and direction of Franklin Avenue Mission.
The future is full of exciting opportunities to help empower our community and foster relationships rooted in Jesus Christ. Between continuing our current ministries, developing a Franklin Avenue Daycare, and building a community laundromat, we know and trust that The Lord has prepared many good and exciting works for us to accomplish with and in the heart of our neighborhood. We'd love for you to come with us too.
These ministries focus on providing the necessities of food, clothing and shelter to our community.
Along with providing well-balanced meals for our community members, the Franklin Avenue Diner provides our neighbors the ability to gather as a community and share life together.
Hygiene is important, and the Personals Closet is designed for individuals and families to obtain all their basic hygienic needs.
The Luke Clinic is a free prenatal and antenatal clinic for expecting mothers struggling with the realities of systemic poverty. The clinic is open at the mission on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month.
These ministries are designed to empower our neighbors to shatter developed systems of dependency.
Mercy House is a long-term transitional housing program that helps mothers struggling with homelessness take the final steps towards financial stability and housing security.
Partnering with the Genesee County Landbank, Franklin Avenue Mission helps tend the vacant lots within our community. By mowing lawns and removing debris, crime rates diminish and ownership is restored.
The Custodial Program provides community members who are struggling with employment to learn the skills needed to become a qualified custodian, and then are assisted in applying for long-term employment.
In order for parents (especially single parents) to successfully go to school or find employment, it is critical that they are able to leave their children in the care of someone they can trust.
Rather than our neighbors living in a cycle of needing to get new clothes every few days or weeks, we want our neighbors to be able to find ownership over their closet. A low-cost laundromat gives our community that opportunity.
Our compassionate care or community empowering ministries are firmly rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pastor Jones leads our Sunday services, which are held in our sanctuary located directly above our dining hall. A children's service is also led at the same time.
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Belong is a 6 month journey through Luther's Small Catechism. In this class, we learn what it means to belong to God, with each other, and at Franklin Avenue Mission.
Pastor Jones is a 2019 graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and is called by the Michigan District of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod to serve as a missionary-at-large and representative of Acts 2 Enterprises.
Pastor loves to root his preaching and teaching through the exploration of Scripture as originally recorded in the biblical Greek and Hebrew.
Pastor's credentials include:
Rachel is a 2014 graduate of Concordia University, Ann Arbor, where she studied family life ministry. She has been a member of the Franklin Avenue team since 2019 and oversees the coordination of volunteers, programs and services.
Rachel is actively pursuing her Master of Social (MSW) through Spring Arbor University.
Tami Kirkendolph has 30 years experience as a social worker. Holding a Master's Degree in family studies, she serves at Mercy House on behalf of Wellspring Lutheran Services.
In her role at Mercy House, Kirkendolph provides case management support while empowering and encouraging the women to become self-sufficient.