|Fifteen years ago, Hughson Street Baptist Church in Hamilton had begun to outgrow their current building. After a lot of prayer and searching, Hughson Street purchased a building in 2011 to renovate into a new facility, and by 2016 they were ready to build. Being in an impoverished neighbourhood, serving the poor and marginalized was a part of their core ministry. So while planning to build, they also felt the impact of gentrification, and watched as affordable housing all but disappeared in the area.
Could Hughson Street reimagine their future church so that it included affordable housing?
Over the next several months Pastors Dwayne Cline and Paul Havercroft prayed together with their Elder team and their church family, and at each step of the way God confirmed how this dramatic change in focus resonated with who they were as a church. So they scrapped the renovation plans, and embarked on a new project that includes 42 units of affordable housing as a part of the building.
While there have been many obstacles, Paul Havercroft notes how they have seen tremendous things happen as a result of the delays. Often a new idea or a better way of doing things came about as they waited.
Two years ago, they felt the project had become a distraction to their primary mission. Dwayne Cline challenged the church to move forward in ministry even in this season of waiting. Sure, there are things that would be better or easier in a new building, but their church needed to press on with the mission to which they had been called.
Hughson Street knows that the affordable housing market isn’t for everyone, but asks you to consider what your niche might be. Paul Havercroft encourages you to think about what God might do in your neighbourhood through your church, and to be faithful to what God has called you to do.
If you’d like more information, or want to let Hughson Street know you are praying for them, contact Paul Havercroft.
Here’s how you can pray for Hughson Street:
What about you and your church? Where do you see God asking you to reimagine your own plans in order to meet the needs of your people and community? Send me a note, I'd love to talk to you about it.
- Pray the building schedule is maintained: the plan is to be in their new building in February 2020 and to have the housing complete in April 2020.
- Pray for the remainder of the financial support to come in.
- Pray that ministry will grow as the building goes up.