by Rev. Sylvia Harris
Wesley United Methodist Church in Phoenix received a $5,000 Equipping the Local Church Grant from The Foundation for Evangelism. Chosen from over 100 applications, Wesley UMC in Phoenix was one of 31 grant proposals chosen for the 2022 inaugural grant cycle, which awarded $230,000 in grant funding to small and medium-sized churches or multiple churches working together.
The primary project goal for this funding is to start a Cooling / Outreach Center focused initially on heat relief for vulnerable persons in the South Mountain area of Phoenix. The primary goal of this project is to provide a safe space for respite during the dangerous summer heat conditions of living in the Phoenix area. The center itself provides the opportunity to access a free washer and dryer, outdoor shower, sleeping mat spaces, and general respite for persons in need. In addition, the center will have non-perishable food items and water for those in need.
“The Foundation for Evangelism is looking forward to partnering with Wesley United Methodist Church in Phoenix as they implement their project throughout the coming year. Seeing clergy and laity working together to invite their community into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ is exciting,” said Rev. Dr. Heather Lear, Vice President for Grant Administration.
About the Equipping the Local Church Grant
The Foundation for Evangelism’s Equipping the Local Church Grant has categories for $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000 grants awarded to small and medium church congregations or clusters of churches working together in a Wesleyan-tradition denomination. Selected applicants must show how the grant can launch an experiment or initiative to share the Gospel, tell their faith stories, and invite others into a relationship with Jesus. For more information about The Foundation for Evangelism, visit foundationforevangelism.org.
About Wesley United Methodist Church in Phoenix
Wesley United Methodist Episcopal Church was officially organized on December 23, 1945, under the leadership of Chaplain Allen L. Johnson, with 10 original members. With humble beginnings, they shared sanctuary with Phillips Colored Methodist Episcopal Church on Adams and 14th Streets, moving to their first home at 18th and Washington Streets by their second anniversary. When the Methodist Episcopal Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren, leading to the church’s official name changing to Wesley United Methodist Church, they moved to their current location at 750 East Southern Avenue. Over the years, their current property has housed several preschool programs and various outreach ministry opportunities. The same building used to house preschool programs is now being used to house this Cooling / Outreach Center. This is an exciting time for Wesley United Methodist Church in Phoenix as we continue to welcome all into the fellowship of love and grace found in our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of believers.