The First Wesleyan Church in Flint, Michigan, has a long and honored history of offering the hope and holiness of Christ to their community.
The economic crisis of the auto industry in recent years along with the water crisis of 2018 generated a mass exodus from the city, negatively impacting the church. Currently, the average church attendance is 70. But the strong core of church leaders did not surrender to this downtrend. Flint First Wesleyans determined to pivot by recasting their vision and becoming a mission for their struggling community.
The church began by reaching out to the community’s disadvantage. With a large and amazing group of willing volunteers, they offer a variety of programs — a food bank, backpack give aways, Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) program, weekly meal service and block parties. Flint First’s outreach now includes weekly classes such as divorce care, GriefShare, anger management, addiction recovery and Financial Peace University.
In anticipation of Holy Week and leading up to Easter 2023, the church hosted “Brunch and Hunt” for their community on Saturday, April 1. This outreach event combined food, fellowship and fun by providing a free meal for families, door prizes and a children’s Easter egg hunt. Unchurched families flooded Flint First Wesleyan where they heard the Easter story presented in an engaging way by Family Life Ministry Director Heather Jones.
Heather says, “This is a community that so many have given up on and the people of Flint have been deeply hurt by that. By regularly offering community events and showing them Christ’s love, we hope to build trust and in turn get the opportunity to show people the One who will never let them down and who they can truly put their hope in.”
Pastors Chad and Amy Amoss serve as co-pastors of Flint First. Pastor Chad reports, “We are always looking for ways to engage with our community. This Brunch and Hunt was an exciting and great way to invite people into the church, fellowship with them over a meal and share the gospel. Heather and her team did an outstanding job … Her love for people is second to none and it showed during this event.”
Flint First Wesleyan Church is living Unleashed, pivoting when necessary and searching for ways to minister to those God has placed before them with the good news of the gospel.
Bill Kinnan is a retired minister on the Great Lakes Region, recently serving as interim pastor at First Wesleyan Church, Flint, Michigan.