There’s no “I” in “team.”
There isn’t one in “dream,” either. And making the Columbus Dream Center a reality has definitely been a team effort.
It all began with a meeting of the minds between the Campbells and the Fishers. Chad and Katie Fisher lead Rock City Church in Columbus. Steve and Wanda Campbell had been operating their urban outreach “A Better Way” to serve the Short North area of Columbus.
But both couples wanted to dream bigger. They shared visions of launching an urban outreach ministry to fight poverty by attacking physical and spiritual hunger.
At that time, the only other Dream Center existed in Los Angeles, California. LA Dream Center Founder Matthew Barnett wrote a book on the experience and testimonies called The Church that Never Sleeps. It rocked their worlds.
“Sometimes transformation isn’t instant, it happens over time.”
Today, there are 84 Dream Centers planted in 11 countries across the globe. In the United States alone, there are more than 65 located in 29 different states.
In the fall of 2017, $1.5M in donations raised by Rock City Church made Ohio’s Columbus Dream Center a reality.
This urban outreach provides food, resources, and programs to foster not only physical health but spiritual health as well. This is why the Columbus Dream Center team includes spiritual leaders like their Pastor of Family Outreach and Outreach efforts, Jake Marrah, and Lead Pastor, Gerald Murphy.
“The Dream Center exists to provide hope and share the love of Christ with at-risk individuals suffering from poverty, drug addiction, and human trafficking.”
Many resources and programs are provided at the Dream Center by working alongside businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and faith-based charities. These include Parks & Rec centers, Columbus Metro Housing Authority, Columbus City Schools, Children’s Hunger Alliance, Mt. Carmel, Reaching the Nations International (RTNI) youth outreach as well as the Out of Darkness human trafficking program.
When I spoke with Pastor Gerald, they were preparing for a door-to-door prayer and grocery drop. This was made possible by donations to their weekly grocery drive as well as over 6000 lbs of food brought in by the Ohio Food Bank. He says that many times, as they serve one neighbor, they get referred to another in need.
“Once we show up, it’s pretty awesome just how fast the word spreads.”
Responding to the COVID-19 crisis has required a huge shift for Dream Center operations. Their public showers, laundry and breakfast program, as well as all devotionals in the gym have been shut down to help flatten the curve. Instead, they now use the gym to spread out, wear gloves, and prepare to-go meals.
“I have seen amazing testimonies of young people struggling at home and in school. They get impacted by Christ and we get to see their grades improve and they start honoring their parents. I’ve seen people with alcohol addictions overcome.”
What You Can Do
- Serving: Meals are available for the needy every day at The Dream Center! You can find their new COVID-19 volunteer guidelines here. If you still qualify, gather your friends and family and come help provide and serve meals at the Dream Center. You can check out the calendar here and sign up.
- Providing: you can find a list of their most-wanted stable goods as well as drop-off times and instructions here.
- Donations: If you are unable to serve or provide, feel free to donate online here.