What happens when a church in decline decides to embrace the immigrants in its changing neighborhood?
Gaston Christian Center is the surprising yet logical progression of Gaston Avenue Baptist Church, for decades a powerhouse in Dallas, TX, with a peak membership of 7,000 and a legacy of producing more foreign missionaries than any other church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Now the church claims only 100 in membership, but on any given week, they host more than 2,000 people for worship services, medical care, educational activities and community events. Five different native congregations worship there. “If two of our greatest challenges in this country are immigration and health care, then we’re a microcosm of that in this building.”
Watch the Chin Agape Baptist Church congregational singing:
Read more in the Hospitality on the corner: Gaston Christian Center series:
Related commentary at baptistnews.com:
Humility, kindness and welcome: Hard but biblical callings | David Jordan
Is Jesus irrelevant to the immigration debate? | Alan Bean
Related news at baptistnews.com:
This series in the “Welcoming the Stranger” project is part of the BNG Storytelling Projects Initiative. In “Welcoming the Stranger,” we share the inspiring stories of the people and faith communities that are teaching us all to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Seed money to launch our Storytelling Projects initiative and our initial series of projects has been provided through generous grants from the Christ Is Our Salvation Foundation and the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation. For information about underwriting opportunities for Storytelling Projects, contact David Wilkinson, BNG’s executive director and publisher, at [email protected] or 336.865.2688.