Northeast Indiana Neighborhood Engagement hosted a leadership training program for local churches to help them learn to engage the neighborhood in which they serve.

The training took place at Bethlehem Lutheran Church on January 25-26 with nine participants.

NINE (Northeast Indiana Neighborhood Engagement) is a new organization whose goal is to impact neighborhoods with community development, grassroots leadership, and the engagement of churches through Christ’s love.

Their mission is to bring transformational life change to individuals living in underserved neighborhoods in northeast Indiana. By bringing together churches and community leaders for strategic ministry opportunities, their focus is to connect new people to LCMS-Indiana District churches. They want to help them grow in their relationship with Christ so they can do the work of the Gospel.

NINE is led by Reverend Lewis A. King, who established King’s Barber Shop and Community Outreach, a ministry designed to spread the Gospel through bible studies and community engagement in Fort Wayne. King, who was formerly a barber before attending seminary, has extensive experience working with the “least of these” in Fort Wayne.

“As we connect people to people and people to Christ, we want to see transformational life change both for the individuals in these neighborhoods and the volunteers who join our grass roots leadership team,” Rev. King said.

The organization will partner with nine anchor churches in the area and work to invest in people by developing long-lasting relationships and providing financial resources for low-income neighborhoods.

They’ll do to this by encouraging congregations to be involved in service and leadership. Churches will work with their neighbors to develop partnerships that facilitate spiritual growth so that each person can reach their full potential in Christ.

Rev. King adds, “We want to work together to build effective partnerships knowing that we will accomplish more together than working alone.”

This story was originally published by the Indiana District – LCMS.
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In December 2017 NINE’s Board of Director’s officially on boarded its new Mission Director, Pastor Lewis A. King who is a parishioner at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. Prior to Pastor King enrolling at the seminary, he worked as a full-time barber and remains the sole proprietor of his barbershop, King’s Barber Shop and Community Outreach. It is NINE’s vision to utilize Pastor King’s successful community outreach efforts and community leadership as a spring board to officially begin to achieve its organizational goals as defined in its mission. Pastor King’s outreach work is focused on helping to make the lives of the least of these easier, while spreading the love of Christ and he brings a servant spirit and passion, coupled with his experiences to his new position as NINE’s new Mission Director.

Concordia Lutheran High School students participated in Koinonia Service Day on October 5, 2018. Among the 65 locations for service this year was King’s Barber Shop and Northeast Indiana Neighborhood Engagement.

We’re very grateful to the students who participated!