Shining the Light of Christ on the Streets of Indianapolis

Looking into the eyes of the Rev. Charles Harrison, pastor of Barnes United Methodist Church in Indianapolis and president of the board of the Indy TenPoint Coalition, a young man made his tearful confession. “I was living in a community that was so violent, it was forcing me to do things I didn’t want to do but felt like I had to do,” he said. 

Indy TenPoint gave him hope and showed him that there were loving and caring people to help him become what God designed for him to be in life.

The Indy TenPoint Coalition — with its “boots-on-the-ground” approach to reducing violence, increasing employment and enhancing educational achievement — caught the attention of Leslie Olsen, chair of the mission team at Faith Presbyterian Church. Leslie immediately connected her church’s annual participation in the Peace & Global Witness Offering with the local initiative’s work. 

“Our supporting them wasn’t a difficult decision to make,” Leslie said. “It was a new concept to me anyway that volunteers — these incredible people, just like you and me — would be willing to put their lives on the line every night or as often as they did. They were out there patrolling our streets, which were becoming more and more dangerous. They were doing God’s work in a spiritual, faithful way, and I was just really inspired by that.”