Update on Innovative Missional Ministries4 min read

The Michigan District’s Here We Stand campaign comes alongside urban ministries with funds raised through its Innovative Missional Ministry initiative. These funds, dispersed over a period of years, help our many ministries to connect with their communities, evangelizing and discipling them with the Good News of Jesus Christ. We’d like to take this opportunity to share highlights from some of these ministries.

Food distribution at Benton Harbor Lutheran Outreach (Photo by Jeff Heisner/Michigan District, LCMS)

Bethany Lutheran Church in Detroit, under Rev. Christopher Bodley, has recently expanded its outreach through a partnership with a local organization to support foster care families. Bethany serves as a support to guardians of foster care children between the ages of 9-17 through luncheons, prayers, and providing mentorship for the youth and faith formation support for the guardians.

Bethany has also recently begun a community entrepreneur support for residents on the East Side of Detroit. In partnership with a community stakeholder, they provide a pre-assessment for entrepreneurs in determining the scope, direction, and viability of a business. The assessment is provided 3 times a year.

Ms. Megan Schultz, Family Life Minister at Large for the city of Detroit, continues to work on building relationships and partnerships with lay leaders at Detroit area congregations.

Rev. Dietrick Gladden recently accepted the call to Mt. Calvary and Charity Lutheran Churches in Detroit. Charity continues to hold its iCan Achievement Camps for children, providing homework help during the school year.

A Luke Clinic worker hugs a patient (Photo by Jeff Heisner/Michigan District, LCMS)

Family of God in Detroit, under the leadership of Rev. James Hill and Rev. Tyler Cronkright, continues to reach out to their community. They provide meals 6 days a week at the church and have recently begun a “Ministry in The Parks” by going to Scripps Park and Clark Park to serve meals to the homeless and have a Bible study. They are currently working on planting a second site, partnering with a congregation located a block away from Clark Park. They also continue to assist families in crisis through their partnership with The Luke Clinic.

The Luke Clinic in Detroit continues to provide accessible, high-quality medical care for expectant mothers and infants under 12 months of age in the Detroit metro area. The clinic is run by a dedicated team of over 100 volunteers with a home office staff of four medical and professional workers. They partner with the University of Michigan Department of Family Medicine, which staffs two doctors per clinic and sends their medical residents for their clinicals. The Luke Clinic is dedicated to saving lives of both moms and babies, empowering the women, and building faith in the families they serve. They hope to expand their services to Flint in November of this year in partnership with the Franklin Avenue Mission.

St. Paul Community Lutheran Church in Pontiac, under Pastor Christopher Jung, serves its community through meals, tutoring, health classes, and needed items for families.

Benton Harbor Lutheran Outreach continues to offer a mobile/drive-by food truck that provides for 125-160 families each month. They also host a Soup Kitchen and have a PLARN sleeping mat ministry.

Franklin Avenue Mission’s Mercy House (Photo by Elisa Schulz/Michigan District, LCMS)

Franklin Avenue Mission (FAM) in Flint, under Pastor Christian Jones, continues to serve dinners twice a week, and volunteers regularly mow and clear debris from vacant lots. FAM operates Mercy House for homeless mothers and their families, as well as provides services including a Clothes Closet, Bible Studies, children’s programs, personal care items, and clean water. FAM is also partnering with Vicar Sergio Vargas of Concordia Seminary’s Center for Hispanic Student and Migrant Workers in Michigan to help minister to the Latino community on Flint’s eastside.

These are but a few of the many ways in which your support of the Here We Stand campaign is impacting and enriching the lives of many throughout our state. We pray that you will continue to help us support these amazing ministries as they share the Gospel message with those who do not yet know Jesus. To learn more about the campaign or to donate, visit


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This blog was published by the Communications Department of the Michigan District, LCMS.

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