By Jennifer Johnson
In 2010, leaders at Mount Gilead Christian Church (Mooresville, IN) challenged members to complete 50,000 hours of community service. The church stepped up, logging more than 75,000 hours—and sparking new discussions about what could come next.
“Several people in the church were especially inspired by this,” says senior minister Jeff Faull. “One of them dreamed of a permanent building we could use as an ongoing outreach tool, and when we found a location, this individual provided much of the money for the over $1 million purchase.”
The church raised another $300,000 for the building and opened the MG House in June 2012.
“The first week there was a flurry of activity,” says BJ Bungard, adults and outreach minister, who also serves as director of the center. “We scheduled five different events to kick off five ministries we’re providing on an ongoing basis, like our twice-a-month community dinners.”
The church identified three purposes for the new building: a warehouse and distribution center to meet needs with tangible goods and services; a neutral gathering place for community use; and a visible hub for ministry and outreach.
“Our church building is in the middle of nowhere,” Faull says. “This gives us a convenient location in the heart of our town.”
A few local helping organizations have held meetings in the space, and the church is actively looking for ways to partner with others.
“We’ve made it clear the building is not for us,” Bungard says. “When we opened, we hosted a dinner for more than 85 community leaders including the police, fire department, and town council.”
This spring they began offering free life skills classes on parenting, budgeting, and nutrition, and the team encourages Mount Gilead members to suggest additional ideas.
“We’ve made Titus 3:14 our verse for this project,” Bungard says. It reads: “Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful” (New American Standard Bible). Says Bungard, “That is our major criteria for deciding how we will use this resource to serve our city.”