The Crusader Newspaper Group

Flourish Church opens in the City of Gary

Photo caption: Pastor Dexter Harris

A Northwest Indiana church dedicated to revitalizing the city

Flourish Church opened its door to its congregation and the city of Gary earlier this year with the mission to revitalize the city and restore the community. Former congregation and pastor of Bethel Church Gary campus, Dexter Harris, went independent from the multi-campus church and brought a new church by the name of Flourish to the city of Gary which is located at 3935 Cleveland St.

With a new church comes a new vision. Harris says that he doesn’t want to be another church just dedicated to sermons or Sunday mornings. As a person who has always been dedicated to outreach, he desires to tie the church directly to the community. Harris sees the church as a vessel to serve the people and the needs of the community by ensuring that resources are provided for businesses to be developed, entrepreneurs to be successful and people to flourish.

“I’m hoping that Flourish can open its building and resources in a way that galvanizes networks, people and resources to revitalize Gary, Indiana and see it flourish again,” said Harris.

Harris wants to do ministry differently by actively getting to know members of the community and serving them in a way that is beneficial to their growth and success. As a racially diverse congregation, Flourish has connections throughout Northwest Indiana and has leveraged those connections to build a vast amount of support. With these connections, they have been able to give back to members and businesses within the community.

“We are committed to working together with our neighbors all over NWI in order to see our community experience wholeness not only spiritually, but also mentally, physically, financially, relationally and systemically,” said Hannah Berridge, Flourish Church Board member.

Thus far, Flourish has partnered with Lighthouse Charter School to restore their courtyard, donated offerings to a local church in need, hosted block parties and community clean-ups, partnered with the City of Gary to host Winter Wonderland this past winter, provided ring doorbells to those in need and hosted a Juneteenth event.

In October, Flourish will donate its offering to Habitat for Humanity to increase home ownership in Gary. In addition to these amazing partnerships, Flourish makes it a priority to conduct church outside of the building and within the community. This summer, they have maintained a “Jesus at da Beach” series where the church service has congregated and taken place at Marquette Park Beach.

Overall, Flourish believes that it is the responsibility of the church to help people who are in need and to help shape the community in Gary Indiana so that everyone feels safe, welcome and able to thrive. For more information about Flourish Church, email [email protected] or call 219-240-1818.

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