History

Our History:

Urban Impact Ministries is celebrating 24 years of life-changing service in Central City New Orleans. In 1989, Glen Schrieber was astounded by the conditions in which the youth of New Orleans lived. Escalating violence, extreme poverty, broken history1families, poor education and the introduction of crack cocaine had created an environment of hopelessness and defeatism within the youth. Reverend Marshall Truehill, a local activist, introduced Glen to the Melpomene and Calliope housing developments. The needs were vast. As an immediate response Glen started showing up with footballs and baseballs to play games in the grassy areas. Eventually Glen formed a structure called challenge circle based on AWANA games. The goal was to share the Gospel and teach basic teamwork principals. history2In 1991, Pastor John and Wendy Gerhardt joined the team with a focus on starting Bible studies, planting a church and coordinating mission teams. In the early days it was a continual race against time to help the youth see vision and hope for their future. As relationships with the children and families grew, a need for supplemental education became very apparent. An after school program we began bridged the gap in reading comprehension and math skills. Urban Impact has continually used any means necessary to teach youth that God has a plan and purpose for their life. Those youth first touched in the early 1990s have become the catalyst for outreach now. An old bank building purchased in 1995 is the headquarters for today’s activities which include after school homework help and youth Bible studies run by Tyrone Christoph, an early member of Urban Impact’s programs. The building also houses the Urban Impact Leadership Academy, our very own high school for students at-risk of not graduating from a traditional public school setting. history3 Castle Rock Community Church, founded in 1998, meets every Sunday within the walls of this over-crowded building where many youth impacted in the last 24 years are active members. Some have even had their own children who benefit from the same programs they did 10, 15 and 20 years ago. Sunday attendance now exceeds 100. In 2005, we purchased land for a new community center, but plans for the building were put on hold after Hurricane Katrina. After the storm, Urban Impact partnered with EFCA TouchGlobal to begin the process of restoring our neighborhood. For seven years, our two ministries have hosted more than 18,000 volunteers from across the nation and around the world.  . We have now completed more than 40 work projects in the neighborhood from history4cosmetic repair to complete rebuilds. In 2008, we made plans to move forward to build our new facility on the land purchased in 2005.  We developed the plans, acquired financing, and were about to begin the permitting process when God told us HE had something else in mind. HE sent us, after a lot of prayer, to a Katrina damaged church and school.  The Lord smoothed a pathway filled with obstacles, opening door after door to lead us to acquire the property in May of 2011.  We began demolition and clean up in June on our “Building A Bigger Porch” and started renovations in December of 2011.  We had our first service in May of 2012.  We began phase two in January of 2013 on “The Sanctuary” – our new youth community center. historey6 During the past year a strong effort has been made to return to our roots while continuing the rebuilding process. We have focused on building our youth programs back to pre-Katrina numbers, partnered with KIPP Central City Academy to tutor students.

Timeline:

1989 Urban Impact Ministries (UIM) incorporated

1990 1st high school missions’ team

1991 Pastor John Gerhardt becomes first pastor of Castle Rock Community Church

1992 6 neighborhood boys taken to Kids Across America camp * High school boys Bible study started

1993 * 1st Challenge Circle summer high school program

1994 1st summer intern

1995 Castle Rock building purchased * Junior high Bible study started

1996 1st full-time Executive Director – Glen Schrieber

1997 Castle Rock Community Church renovation completed * Castle Rock Community Church    founded * Education program started

1999 Yellow House purchased to host teams and provide additional ministry space

2001 Yellow House renovation completed * D-Team 9-month internship started

2005 Land purchased for new ministry center * Hurricane Katrina floods New Orleans * Partnership with EFCA TouchGlobal start

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2006 Katrina relief becomes a primary ministry function, teams come from across the nation to help rebuild. * New land becomes temporary FEMA cam

2008 Abandon new lot purchase as site for new church, begin praying and pursuing damaged church school as the location God wants us to renovate. Celebrate 20 years of ministry in the neighborhood.

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2009- Completed construction of two new homes on South Derbigny St.

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2011 Purchase Katrina damaged church school and , in June begin demolition and cleanup of facility with mission teams.  In December, we began the renovation process of “Building A Bigger Porch” with staff and mission teams. Worked with City of New Orleans to refurbish Taylor Park with Mission Teams and get four drug houses demolished on South Derbigny St. next to Taylor Park.

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2012 Continue with renovation of phase one with 400 volunteer missionaries.

  • May 15th –  Move into new facility
  • May 20thFirst Service
  • May 21st–  Sell vacant lot purchased in 2005
  • May 22nd – Sell old Church facility to a youth ministry partner
  • June 4thBegin Summer VBS program with 110% growth from prior year
  • July 5thPart of Host team for EFCA Summer “ Challenge” for EFCA of 5400 youth
  • July 26thPartnered with KABOOM and 300 local volunteers to construct playground in a day

2013- Begin renovation of 100 year old building for our new youth community center “The Sanctuary” with 420 volunteer missionaries.  We have 354 children registered for Summer VBS, and averaging over 60 youth for Friday Night Open Court, and 80 in regular attendance in our youth ministry during the week.

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