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Homosexual rights activists gain influence in public schools (10/17/04)

Church’s prayer births children’s ministry (10/17/04)

Partner program revitalizes dying church (10/10/04)

Church music festival attracts variety of visitors (10/10/04)

Churches urge compassion for alienated smokers (9/19/04)

Youth ride wooden waves in church parking lots (9/12/04)

A/G, COGIC join forces through inner-city campus (9/12/04)

Christians respond to victimized women and children (8/29/04)

Growing slavic church shares new facility (8/29/04)

Couple embarks on capitol prayer tour (8/29/04)

ADHD requires multifaceted treatment approach (8/22/04)

Small congregation grows — by planting churches (8/22/04)

‘Under God’ stays in Pledge of Allegiance, at least for now (8/8/04)

Church reaches out to those feeling loss (8/8/04)

Churches act pre-emptively to reduce risk of abuse (7/25/04)

Credit cards ensnare record number of Americans (7/25/04)

Church helps out with donated CD, recycled buses (7/25/04)

New wave of pastors minister to emerging adults (7/18/04)

‘Walking Witnesses’ raise thousands for missions (7/18/04)

Healing center offers alternative medicine (7/18/04)

Growing number of Hispanics impact economy (7/11/04)

'Busy' couple finds time for compassion ministry (7/11/04)

Hand-copied Bible leaves 40-year legacy (7/11/04)

Pastor ends hunger strike when strip club promises to sell (6/27/04)

‘Military survival kit’ requests inundate A/G (6/27/04)

Fourth of July outreach draws thousands (6/27/04)

Drivers warned to steer clear of distractions (6/27/04)

Pastors face more counseling demands (6/20/04)

Church uses touch of ‘flavor’ to reach community (6/20/04)

Outrageous self-expression often starts, stops at home (6/13/04)

Runner raises $5,200 for Convoy of Hope (6/13/04)

Euphemisms tempt Christians to conveniently shed sin, guilt (5/30/04)

Funds for Easter play buy groceries instead (5/30/04)

Identity theft threatens millions of Americans (5/23/04)

Spanish speakers face challenges, opportunities in United States culture (5/16/04)

Health experts implore Americans to get fit (5/9/04)

Leaders say Christian faith stems recidivism (4/25/04)

Riders feel at home in Orlando sanctuary (4/18/04)

Churches try to keep human touch with new media (4/11/04)

Christians see Passion as ministry opportunity (3/28/04)

Tutoring improves lives, opens doors for evangelism (3/21/04)

Cybertheft costly — especially for Christians (3/14/04)

A/G women seize new ministry opportunities (2/29/04)

Investment in early spiritual maturity reaps rewards (2/22/04)

Christian families respond to foster care opportunities (2/15/04)

Childless couples grapple with emotional roller coaster, faith challenges (2/8/04)

Few men seek help from abortion grief, guilt (1/18/04)

Women who answer God's call provide valuable local ministries (1/11/04)

2003 PE Report stories

Frontline Reports

2002 PE Report stories

2001 News Digest stories

2000 News Digest stories


Church’s prayer births children’s ministry

By Isaac Olivarez (10/17/04)

Members of North Oakland Church in Waterford, Mich., prayed for one year for God’s direction on how to effectively reach out to residents of nearby Pontiac. Soon, says John Gunn, who had pastored the church for 14 years, God made it clear the best way to reach the city of 67,000 was to start a children’s ministry.

“We met in an old YMCA and for our first session we had 23 children and an old bus,” says Gunn, 51. “We told them we had a new Bible club for kids called Power Company Kids Club.”

Gunn says he and church staff members worked bus routes and taught children by busing them to the church. But after nearly four years, Gunn and his wife, Michele, resigned as pastors of North Oakland Church, sold their home in upper middle-class Waterford and moved to an apartment in inner-city Pontiac to start the ministry full-time.

That was eight years ago.

Today, PCKC is part of the fabric of Pontiac, and reaches out to 2,000 children weekly in three Saturday sessions. The ministry also sponsors two character-building assemblies in the public school system each week as well as an annual Harvest Festival each year in conjunction with the Pontiac Police Department. The children are bused in with a fleet of a dozen school buses.

“We don’t look at what we’re doing as radical,” says Gunn of his move to inner-city Pontiac, which is plagued by drug addiction, gangs and prostitution. “God, because of His heart for the children, opened doors we couldn’t have kicked down.”

Children’s services consist of puppets, games, prizes, object lessons, skits and Bible stories. In 1998, PCKC started a children’s choir with 30 children and a Friday night service called Power Surge where 70 middle school and high school students meet for youth group-style services.

“I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for Power Company,” says Dustin McClellan, 14, who first started attending PCKC in second grade. McClellan accepted Christ as Savior at a meeting and now senses a ministry calling.

Kuantele Sangster says lessons stuck with him throughout the week, causing him to think about Christ.

“Even though you go for the fun and games, eventually it draws your attention and grabs a hold of you,” says Sangster, 16. He says accepting Christ as Savior changed his life.

“The people I was hanging around with didn’t seem as appealing to me as before,” Sangster says. “I looked at those things as taking the place of going to church and Power Company. What fulfilled me was there. There was no need for getting in trouble.”

Gunn says McClellan and Sangster are examples of why Power Company Kids Club seeks to reach people at their most receptive age — as children. Sangster agrees.

“Children are the future,” Sangster says. “If you affect them now with God’s love, tomorrow will be a lot better than if Power Company wasn’t there.”

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