On September 12, 2020, a team from Redeemer Redmond Church (Me, Pastor Jason Dorsey, Jim Gibons, Jordon Lewis, Dismas Smith, and Dave Lane, who joined them a few days later) and some friends (Jed, Renae and Willow Dorsey and Tiffany Clark) traveled to Indianapolis, IN to help restore a house owned by a good friend of Pastor Jason, Donteau Gladney, and to help launch a social purpose business, Faith of a Mustard Seed or F.o.M.
The purpose of F.o.M. is to create relationships across racial divides by bringing people together for a common cause of restoring homes to empower the African American community in Indianapolis through home and business ownership.
Here’s a YouTube video that gives you a picture of our project.
The team arrived on Saturday night and the first thing we did after picking up our rental car, was to go shopping for food.
Shout out to Shawn Collins who left mats and sleeping bags and pillows for us at Redeemer and for Rev. Charles Anderson and Sarah and Nathan Partain who supplemented those with pillows and some extra luxury mats.
We enjoyed Mass Ave on Saturday night with a delicious dinner at Bazbeau’s pizza, and thankfully picked up the pillows at the Partain’s home after dinner.
We worshipped on Sunday morning. It was great to worship at the church where I served as senior pastor for 13 years.
Sunday afternoon, we headed to the work site. Here is a little picture of the house that we were about to work on.
Donteau has many friends and connections in Indianapolis who came by to help in the project beginning that Sunday. It was great to meet them and built relationships with them as we worked on a common cause.
A few friends of Pastor Jason and Jed Dorsey from Indianapolis jumped on board the team to help work including Michael Jones, and a young man named Landon who turned out to be quite talented in construction projects, and a mom and her son who heard about the project on Sunday morning at Redeemer Presbyterian, Indy.
We worked from 9am-6pm, then “broke bread” sharing in a dinner and time of conversation and friendship over meals provided by Redeemer congregation members. Sunday’s dinner was provided by Erin and Jackie Hall and their community group. Mondays dinner was provided by the Nathan and Sarah Partain family. Tuesday’s dinner was provided by Rev. Charles Anderson, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian, Indy. And Donteau Gladney provided a delicious feast for our last dinner on Wednesday.
Each evening a member of the Indy community shared. On Sunday night, Donteau Gladney shared his story of growing up in the hood in Indy, his time in Federal University (Prison), friendship with Jason, and hopes and dreams to give back to his community and mentor young people through F.o.M. On Monday, Wildstyle Pascal shared about the history of redlining and systemic racism in Indianapolis. On Tuesday, Brian Parks shared how through God’s help he was on a good track, including being a first time home owner. Each talk with informative and inspiring.
We were able to get lots of work done including: restoring the front porch, painting many of the inside rooms, prepping the kitchen floor for flooring, digging four drainage ditches for gutter runoff, and many other jobs. It was lots of fun to work together on these projects and the team worked with gusto. We laughed a lot too! We’re so thankful for all who gave to the Indy Justice Trip offering. Through your generous gifts we were able to purchase paint, flooring, tools, and many other supplies. We also were able to help purchase a new laptop computer which will help Donteau and his son Jai’Onn run their website and business. https://www.ourfomfamily.com/
If you would like to see more detail, here are a couple of videos by my friend Dismas sharing a little bit of what we did from his perspective.
Finally, I want to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came alongside this house project with us and Donteau. We got a lot done, and we had a lot of fun sharing meals and stories. We couldn’t have done it without the incredible support we got from so many people who gave money. We got the inside of the house painted, we cleaned up the front and back yards, did some dry wall work, got the floors ready for installation, purchased all the flooring, and restored the front porch, including some concrete repair and new railing. We had amazing people come help work, and we had incredible people provide food for each of the dinners. I know there is still more to do, but I couldn’t be more thankful for all that happened. And I’m super thankful and proud of Donteau and his son, Onnie, who worked hard on multiple fronts all week – getting tools and materials, making connections, physically putting in lots of work, and also moving forward with business related things. So, thank you everyone for helping make al this good stuff happen – I appreciate you!!
If you would be interested in joining a team working on a FOM house project in Indy in 2020 please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.