Juan Lopez, executive pastor at the church with Christ-centered services, said Thursday about the city’s crime, “It’s really unfortunate. We have seen an uptick in shootings and in homicides the last few years growing and growing more and more.”
The church is just a few blocks east of downtown. Church members say people are tired and that the pandemic has taken a toll on people’s mental health, so Calvary Tabernacle wants to bring change.
“The mental health of the community is really worn, and what we’re seeing is they’re acting out of desperation. They’re losing their minds from being away from everybody,” Lopez said.
The church members will soon open a new campus in Camby, then they’ll open several more in communities they believe need the most help like the east side.
“So, what we’re going to be doing while we’re meeting these people in the community is talking to them and helping them to understand that there is another way. You don’t have to go down this path, you don’t have to be someone that shows your emotion through violence,” Lopez said.
The church will be offering programs that help address drug addiction and provide support for people experiencing grief. Church members also will walk in and around neighborhoods to pray and share a message of hope.
Chris Henderson, director of promotions for Calvary Tabernacle’s Indiana Bible College, said, “Allowing them to experience that life-changing power of Christ, that’s what we’re about.”
Lopez said, “There’s hope, and our goal is to connect them with Christ to allow them to see the difference that he can make in their life. It’s about experience. It’s one thing for us to say it, but we know for certain that if somebody steps forward and allows him to touch their life it’ll make a difference and they’ll see it for themselves.”
Calvary Tabernacle leaders also say they’re planning on having prayer walks and much more across the city.