As a house of worship that is literally building up its own community, St. James United Methodist Church spends more time outside in the streets being a church than it does inside. This focus, in addition to a contemporary service, has resulted in significant growth, suggesting a bright future ahead for St. James and anything else it touches.
“The church was about to close down,” said Senior Pastor John Brice. “I don’t want it to come across as just me that did it. Tracey Bass, the district superintendent, is one of my main mentors. And it was being strategic about our approach to ministry.”
Brice began leading St. James last July and said at that time there was an average of six members coming to church.
As of now, there are 79 members, but this increase doesn’t compare to how St. James has grown as a ministerial force in the community.
Currently, St. James provides free English classes to the diverse languages of the church’s neighbors; an after-school program offering free music classes; a SHARE food program; a free community breakfast on the last Saturday of every month; a computer lab; free wireless access for the community internet use; and an open space for youth to play in its gym on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.