This article was originally published by The Mennonite

We are Open Door and #WeAreMenno

Horace McMillon serves as the tent-making pastor of Open Door Mennonite Church of Jackson, Mississippi. He and Monique, his bride of 19 years, have two teenage children. Prior to their move to Jackson, Horace served as Associate Pastor of the Community Mennonite Church in Markham, Illinois. He is the author of “No Mo’Broke: Seven Keys to Success from a Christian Perspective.” Horace earned a Master of Arts from Chicago Theological Seminary and holds a Doctor of Ministry from Oval Bible College. This post first ran on Mennonite Church USA’s Menno Snapshots blog

We are urban. We are multi-cultural. We are Southern. Located in Jackson, Mississippi, Open Door is the only Mennonite Church USA congregation within a ninety mile radius. Jackson is the state capital of Mississippi and suffers from many of the maladies frequently found in urban centers: decaying infrastructure, capital flight, under-resourced public schools, elevated levels of poverty and crime. Open Door was founded as a multi-cultural church at a time when race mixing was still under debate within the body of Christ. We are black white, and Native American. We welcome all as we are one in Christ.

We embrace hospitality, faith, family and community. Whoever you are, wherever you are, however you are, you are welcome at Open Door.

We are locally engaged. We are charter members of a group called, “Working Together Jackson,” a collaboration of institutions made up of over 40 organizations: churches, the local mosque, local synagogue and non-profits that cross race, class, politics and theology in order to work on issues for our common good. As an organization we have rallied for funding to fix our roads and water system, fought for job training leading to living-wage jobs, secured a housing trust for affordable housing, cleaned up neighborhoods, and along with others, we are fighting for adequate funding of public education.

In the past we have worked on racial reconciliation in the body of Christ through our involvement with Mission Mississippi.

For a number of years, we hosted a LEAP Program (Life Enrichment and Academic Progress) for over 50 children and youth in our community. In the future, we hope to host a Service Adventure unit [a service program of Mennonite Mission Network].

We are globally engaged. We recently helped an orphanage in Gambia purchase chickens and goats in order to help them become more secure and independent. We recently led an effort to secure school supplies for the children in a small village in Senegal. We sponsor a middle school student named Mary in Kenya. She might not otherwise be able to attend school. She hopes to become a pastor one day. We are currently attempting to raise funds for that same village in Senegal to install a water project. We are joyfully following Jesus into the world.

We are Open Door.

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