Roselawn United is a 12 week intensive community listening project that seeks to the challenges and strengths present in the changing neighborhood of Roselawn in Cincinnati. It is a collaborative effort between Beloved Community Church and the Roselawn Community Council. This project will run from June through the Fall of 2015. 

Why: Ferguson, Beavercreek, Cleveland, Long Island, Baltimore, and now Charleston are just a few of the places currently wrestling with how to respond to the horror of the killing unarmed African-Americans in the past year, many at the hands of police officers. Dozens of other cities are wrestling with what to do about gun violence that is tearing apart communities. At Beloved Community Church, we believe that none of these issues will get solved by preaching alone. We have to "Go Outside" if we are going to make an impact.  

We also believe that we cannot speak for the people until we have first spoken to the people. This project, then, is about the members of Beloved Community Church, doing the work of learning more about the community and building relationships in the community. We hope that through our efforts community members will also be able to  build stronger relationships with each other, so that the work of valuing Black lives in Roselawn becomes an intentional, daily, lived-out plan. 

In order to bring this about we will spend several weeks of canvassing door to door, hearing the concerns and the strengths of the people. We will create spaces for community members to gather to explore these concerns in greater detail. As we are hearing from the community, we will spend time listening to how the scriptures enter into conversation with the stories that we are hearing.



I have been serving as the pastor of Beloved Community Church since 2010. During most of my pastorate I have been bi-vocational, working for social justice organizations to reduce the crippling impact of mass incarceration,  to make sure that everyone legally eligible has access to vote, and a host of other important issues. In 2014 I took these skills to Ferguson, MO where I worked with clergy and faith leaders to take their faith out of their churches and to build relationships with those hurting the most because of the unjust police practices. This work has had a lasting impact, revitalizing churches, giving new focus to entire denominations, and sharing the message of God’s love to those who once felt abandoned and alone. 


After that work I realized that this type of deep connectional work should not have to happen only in moments of crisis. In fact if it were to happen earlier I it could help improve conditions before a crisis emerges. Armed with this belief I dedicated myself to focusing my work and the work of Beloved Community Church on entering into deep and lasting relationships with our neighbors and surrounding community.  We reached out to the Roselawn Community Council and created a project that we have called Roselawn United. Our goal in Roselawn United is to build sustained relationships with our neighbors that can inform and guide the ministry and planning process as a church. By building relationships, and by planning and working together we seek to make our community stronger and safer so that each of our neighbors can experience God’s love and justice through our collective work.  

As I have been working on this I have realized two things: (1) this work has implications bigger than our church, and (2) to do this well I need to do it full time. The number of pastors and church leaders who have been asking me to share with them our learnings and model have indicated to me that there is a hunger for this type of work in churches around the nation. That need excites me, because it says that what we are doing is really important work. It also presses upon me the importance of doing this work well, of recording each process and adjustment in detail so that when we are finished there is a usable model for other churches to follow. In order to dedicate the time needed to do this work, and to pay attention to the ongoing pastoral needs of the church, I need to be able to do this full time.  

I am asking that you would make pledge to support me and this work that our church is doing monthly over the next year. By making a monthly or a one-time gift Mark, Luke, Matthew or John levels, you will be investing work that will equip church to bring transformation to the neighborhoods and communities that need it most all around the world. Even if you cannot give at one of the designated levels, any gift you can make would be a blessing to me and would help further this work. 


Giving Level

Monthly Gift


One Time Gift 

Number of Givers Needed at this level


$100 and above


$1200 and above

10 or more


$50 to $99

$600 to $1199

20 or more


$25 to $49

$300 to $599

40 or more


$10 to $24

$120 to $299

50 or more

If you cannot pledge or make a gift one of these levels, any gift would be a blessing to me and would help further the work.

Click here to make a monthly gift. 

Click here to make a one-time gift.