Battle Creek pastor re-purposing closed school into a community center
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. —
A local pastor working to get kids off the streets is re-purposing a closed school into a neighborhood center.
Battle Creek's former Southeastern Junior High used to serve students and last year Kingdom Builders Worldwide bought the building with everything left behind.
The former school is being re-purposed to serve youth in an entirely different way.
Tino Smith, Senior Pastor with Kingdom Builders Worldwide, said, “We saw the promise land and so absolutely, the gym. Vision after vision after vision. Pool; vision after vision. The auditorium; vision after vision. The cafeteria; vision after vision. Classrooms.”
Smith says the wheels are constantly churning as he works to get the ministry up and running.
The first church service was held on Easter Sunday. The next step is keeping this building open 24 hours a day.
Smith said, “This is the east side of the Post Addition that's been neglected. It's the perfect opportunity. The day we opened, the neighborhood children just ran in the church.”
Smith wants to give kids a place to go at any time. A place where they can play ball with friends, stretch their minds and serve as a safe haven.
Smith said, “Young man is in trouble, young lady's in trouble, need to get out of here. We'll go pick them up at three in the morning and we'll put them in a secure location to stop them from maybe making a poor choice that could become life changing.”
There's still quite a bit of work to be done, but that doesn't intimidate Smith.
He says the space is a gift that will serve this community.
Smith said he is working to make sure the facility is up and running 24/7 by the time school lets out for the summer.