Church leaders in North Vernon, Indiana, are feeling especially grateful at the start of a new year.
Pavilion Church, a group of evangelical churches that work together to minister in the North Vernon area to advance the cause of Christ, has been given $65,000 by local factory owners.
Pavilion Church, which consists of five local churches of various denominations and one parachurch organization, started Celebrate Recovery, a “Christ-centered recovery program” for those affected by addiction.
“A couple years ago we kept trying to do outreach in various areas of the community but were being denied the opportunity because the local churches had developed a reputation that they were always fighting,” said Rev. Kent Stroud (second from right in photo below), pastor of North Vernon Wesleyan Church. A group of churches responded and formed Pavilion Church in order to change that reputation.
Stroud is one of the leaders of Pavilion. At the request of factory leadership, Pavilion Church began “ministering to employees on the shop floor, being a presence in employees’ lives” in response to “major employee turnover.” Two years in, factory owners asked how they could give back to the ministry.
“God laid on our heart to open a recovery house to give men coming off addictions or out of prison a second chance, and we shared this vision with the factory,” said Stroud. Factory leadership decided to fund this vision and was given the first opportunity to hire anyone who went through the recovery house. Stroud said the “factory chose The Wesleyan Church to be the owner of the house and lease it to the Pavilion Churches for $1 annually, for as long as the mission is operating.”
Dr. Mark Eckart, district superintendent of Indiana South District, is proud of the work Stroud and others are doing in the community as they seek to live out the gospel.
“Pavilion Church is a great model that shows the community that Christians can cooperate in unity to do ministry,” said Eckart.