A network of faith-based groups and social organizations working together can improve the quality of life of the community, and that is the focus of Redemption Point At Highland Park, according to Bishop Kevin Wallace, senior pastor.
A week-long series of meetings, followed by a Saturday breakfast and open house for community leaders and culminating with a worship service Sunday, all combined to dedicate the new location of Redemption Point at Highland Park, a companion church to Redemption Point in Ooltewah.
The group organizing the new church formerly worshipped at East Lake Church of God and before that was the Fourth Avenue Church of God.
Chattanooga City Councilman Yusef Hakeem was present at the open house to present a proclamation to the church from the Council, honoring it for its presence in the community and committed to meeting its needs.
Worship services at the new location began in August with about 250 in attendance and in the past month the number has doubled to 500 to 600 in attendance, many coming from the area around the Bailey Avenue building.
"Some of them walked in off the street, some came on bicycles," Bishop Wallace said. "The building will seat 2,000, so we’ve a lot of room to grow."
The church purchased the property of the former Highland Park Baptist Church, which moved to Harrison, and Redemption Point is in the process of renovating the property. The sanctuary building is completed and renovation is now going on on Hancock Building, which will be re-named Hope House.
In this four-story building plans are in hand for an after-school music academy for kids, a learning lab to help children learn to read; tutoring and a computer lab, all with volunteers; partnering with the Latino community and Life Coach through United Way.
A number of non-profits were present for the open house, including a reading and literacy program, Child and Adolescent Services, Institute CanZion (a music ministry), La Paz, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Kids on the Block and United Way.
"We’ll see what happens as time passes," Bishop Wallace said. "This is God’s business. That’s why we are here. We depend on Him. We are taking small steps. People of God see a need and want to be a part. They see what we are doing and want to give support."
Quality of life is important for both the pastor and the church. "It’s an idea planted in our hearts that is growing," he said. "Social ministry has to have a spiritual influence and the spiritual needs a social influence. We need the social, but it is established at Jesus. Jesus is the way for a new kind of Chattanooga, surrounded by the grace of God.
"God’s grace works. Together the church and the organizations want to see our community as a better way for people."