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New Flint church seeks to save a neighborhood

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Flint’s newest church has an unusual mission.

Its goal is to save the neighborhood that surrounds it.

Community Impact Church held its first Sunday service yesterday in a formally abandoned church. The church is surrounded by abandoned homes, blight, and vacant lots filled with weeds.

Pastor Corey James says his Allen Park-based ministry decided to set up in one of Flint’s more distressed northside neighborhoods for a reason: To help people rebuild their neighborhood.

“We want to rally these people together because they are big part of us rebuilding this neighborhood,” James says. “We need their buy-in and their ownership in this vision of building people to build communities.”

The church may have held its first service on Sunday, but James says church leaders have been working since April, talking with their neighbors, working on tearing down blighted homes, and increasing safety in the neighborhood.

James concedes Flint already has plenty of churches, but he adds there is plenty of work to do to rebuild Flint.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.