All People’s Church: Connecting With The Community

by Charlesetta Thompson

The church at 2600 N. 2nd Street used to be called Epiphany Lutheran Church. It had a tradition of being open to the community for meetings and youth programs, such as 4H.

About 18 years ago, it became All People’s Church when Gregory Van Dunk became pastor. Van Dunk continued to be very involved in Harambee and the larger community. He served as pastor for 15 years before leaving to take the pulpit at Atonement Lutheran Church in Muskego, Wisconsin. Kris Ertl was interim pastor for one year.

According to Catherine Alexander, Administrative Liaison, the mission of the church is to connect with the community. “This is God’s House, everyone should be welcome,” she said.

This is evidenced by what one will find at a Sunday Service. The members are composed of a very diverse ethnic mix and so is the pastoral staff. Although the congregation is currently looking for a pastor, they have not missed a beat. On Sundays, Venice Williams preaches for the 9am and 11am services, while Carlos Aranda is in charge of the 5pm traditional service in Spanish. Jose ‘Elias’ Garcia and other Hispanic ministers assist with the evening services. There is a 10am education hour between the morning services.

All People’s Church Programs and Ministries:

Hispanic Ministry: Services and special programs are under the leadership of Rev. Carlos Aranda.

Wednesday morning Community Bible Study: Program is for adults and includes a meal. The food pantry is also available. Wednesdays at 10:30am.

Wednesday Night Alive: Evening includes dinner & fellowship, homework help, and art. Wednesdays at 5:30pm.

Seedfolks and Kujichagulia: Programs geared for enrichment and empowerment of young people.

Youthworks Ministry: Young people work helping others in the neighborhood on such tasks as cleaning yards and vacant lots.

Vacation Bible School: Program and activities in June, July and August are being planned for both youth and adult participants.

Van transportation: Please contact the church staff at 414-264-1616 for information and availablity.

Venice Williams , Minister

Rev. Carlos Aranda , Pastor (Hispanic Ministry)

Rev. Jose` Elias` Garcia , Lay Pastor (Hispanic Ministry)

David Nunley , Music Director

Catherine Alexander , Grant Writer/Administrative Liaison

Riverwest Currents online edition – March, 2007