Beech Street Apartments in NE Portland is the latest outreach for Hotel Ministry and River West Church. Beech Street provides housing for graduates of substance abuse programs, and is Home Forward’s first “Dry Housing.” Thirty two families call Beech Street “home”, where they can be reunited with family members and live in a supportive and “dry” community.
Across from Beech Street is the small congregation of Greater St. Stephen’s Missionary Baptist Church. Long before ground was broken for Beech Street, church members were praying for those that would make it their home. Last January, Pastor Kimberly Black and Associate Pastor Shirrell prayerfully announced that they would be beginning a Children’s Church program for the children that came across the street to worship. When River West heard about their decision, we contacted them to join forces, and have been working together ever since.
Pastor Black envisions a separate and special place for the children that they can call their own to worship and study in. She would like the church to be a community center that could reach people of all ages by opening up the building to meet an abundance of needs: tutoring and homework help for the kids, AA meetings, Bible studies, and much more. In the meantime, they will continue to build on their Sunday outreach and Wednesday night Bible Study and prayer times, which frequently start with all-church potlucks.
River West and St. Stephens are partnering together, bringing teams to help rebuild and better equip their multipurpose building, and to joyfully share Jesus with the entire community! This is truly the Body of Christ, different communities working together, using the gifts He’s given, lifting each other up, and in doing so, raising the banner of Christ in the community and the world!