How Christ is Transforming a Dying Community
The vision of Hope Alliance Bible Church (HABC) is to seek “Total dependency on Christ…moment by moment and day by day.” And with Christ’s help, this small church is making a significant impact on its community.
HABC is located in Maple Heights, Ohio (part of the greater Cleveland area), and is led by Dr. Ronald J. Morrison. HABC has always sought not only to meet the needs of its community but also to develop and transform it. When the church arrived in the city 22 years ago, the school system was substandard and the housing market poor. Stable families were moving away, leaving the city with a higher percentage of single parent homes than the national average.
The members began assessing ways they could use their skills to serve the people around them. They eventually established a nonprofit organization in order to more effectively engage the community of Maple Heights. The church’s ministries have grown to include teen mentoring, summer camps, free tax preparation, grief counseling, marriage enrichment, home economic skills, and biblically based addiction recovery.
HABC also offers courses through Moody Bible Institute and currently has around 100 students. As they conduct these ministries, the church members build relationships and share the gospel with their neighbors. Dr. Morrison believes that the success HABC has seen is due to the church’s dedication to prayer. Whatever ministries are going on, someone is always keeping them “before the throne.”
HABC’s current building was originally a Slovenian party hall, equipped with several bars, disco lights, and a jukebox. The church has done its best over the years to renovate the space for its purposes, adding a classroom and computer lab. But while the facility works well as a space for fellowship, it is not adequate to sustain the church’s activities. The sanctuary only seats around 150 people, while the fellowship hall holds about 100. The church body currently numbers around 200 and is growing. HABC just added 20 new members in the past several months and has witnessed many baptisms.
ADF has helped HABC over the years and is now enabling the church to renovate its current building.
With funding from ADF, HABC is able to do what Dr. Morrison calls a “fantastic makeover” of the inside of the building. But the church is carrying out this first phase with an even bigger dream in mind. Phase 2 involves adding over 10,000 square feet to the property and will cost $2.5 million. These additions will provide more classrooms, offices, and community gathering spaces, such as a coffee shop.
Dr. Morrison says he has always felt a “strong sense of call” to continue serving right where he is. And now, “ADF is helping HABC take its next step in acquiring the needed space to facilitate more ministry, accommodate more people, and continue bringing glory to our Lord Jesus Christ.”