I could not have written a better story. In the transition from my former church to lead the epikos North Side, I didn’t know what to expect. To end back up in the same neighborhood I came from, at the same school I graduated from, well, that’s just the kind of thing God does. Call it redemption!
It’s hard to believe we have hit the one year mark already! The launch day was amazing. Seeing the auditorium of Barack Obama School filled with several hundred people worshiping the Lord was a sight to behold! I was blown away when classmates I had not seen since graduation joined us for worship. There were many others from the neighborhood I grew up in who attended as well.
But then, one week later, we had to weather the aftermath of the Sherman Park riots. I will never forget the somber mood in service the morning after that night of unrest. And while those events were traumatic for our city and challenging for us as we launched, I am convinced God was raising us up to be a beacon of light on the North Side of Milwaukee.
Over the last year, I have witnessed God’s hand in many different ways. From the favor we have been blessed with by Barack Obama School to the ability to minister to students and staff throughout the school day, God has been nothing short of amazing. One example was having both the principal and assistant principal join us for worship while inviting teachers to join us as well. Another highlight was the opportunity we had to serve Northcott Neighborhood House with Juneteenth Day and to be witnesses in the beginning stages of the Block Transformation Initiative right in our own neighborhood.
I also want to thank the dedicated volunteers who serve week in and week out. Being a “church-in-a-school” is a lot of work: unpacking, setting up, leading through worship, tearing down, packing everything away. But never have I witnessed how so few people could band together in such a mighty and committed way to make such a huge impact! It’s resulted in a tightly knit community and many new friendships that have been a joy to see.
Finally, my greatest joy is seeing the diversity walking through the doors each Sunday in a city known as the most segregated in the country. This has been unlike anything I have ever been a part of. I pray you continue to join me as we join God in his work of transforming Milwaukee.
Happy 1st birthday, epikos North Side!