In 1885 Military Ave. Church was planted as a house church by Second Presbyterian. In 1902 the church took its first members and began a ministry that continues to this day.
In the forties and fifties the church was promenant – so much so that Dr. Donald Barnhouse spoke at Military Ave. In those glory days when the church had four hundred members, with half of their budget going to missions.
Of course by the late sixties the community around the church was changing to one inhabited by the poor. Since that time the eb and flow of the community has been one of struggle for survival, disenfranchisement, and the departure of Christian values.
Dr. Randy Brown and Barb Brown came in 1989 as a response to God’s call to minister to the weak, wounded, and without in Detroit. Many have joined to help us in our effort to honor the name of Jesus and display His character in this harsh environment.
The need in southwest Detroit
Detroit each decade gains the title of the poorest city in America after census data is gathered. Many of our children grow up without a father present in the home. We have one of the largest drop out rates in the U.S. with only 3 percent of our population holding a bachelor’s degree. Our people live at the whim of the government’s generosity, some times they have very little when our politics attempt to reform our safety net systems. Some families live on less than ten thousand dollars annually. Combined with one of the most undependable public transportation systems which serve to further isolate the poor population from opportunity.
Helping Evangelicals to remain involved in this place of crisis is part of our mission. The few bullet points above describe the edges of Detroit’s problems and need. On top of this the Evangelical Church stands at arms reach from all these problems, while facing serious problems of their own – a secularized society. So most of the Evangelical resources remain in suburban communities as our leaders work hard to meet their own challenges, but the need in the city is great. We live in an trying hour, an hour which tests the very nature of our faith. Our hope remains that as Jesus Christ continues to work in lives, some will find the courage to reach out to the hard places – of which Detroit is one.