By Laura Anderson | Director of Marketing
When Henry McClendon walked past Berean Chapel of Detroit on his way to school every day as a child, little did he know that one day, he would come to pastor that very church. Pastor McClendon took on his ministry role at Berean Chapel in 2006, but the church is actually approaching its 83rd anniversary this coming June.
Berean Chapel of Detroit was originally established in a tent as a Plymouth Brethren Church in 1936. Nowadays, it is a part of a group called the United Assemblies of Detroit. Pastor McClendon used to be serving at a sister church in the assembly, but transitioned to Berean Chapel when their former pastor, William Perry, passed away.
Pastor McClendon discovered the ministry of Converge MidAmerica through his friends who are Converge pastors. People like Roderick Walker (Grace Bible Church, Florissant, MO), John Byrd (Jubilee Baptist Church, Bolingbrook, IL) and Gary Hankins (Resurrection Fellowship, Grand Rapids, MI) introduced him to the ways that a Converge partnership was benefiting them and their church. Pastor McClendon then had the opportunity to visit a Converge conference in Chicago and was blown away by the workshops he attended. He appreciated the vision of Converge churches coming together as one and he wanted Berean Chapel to be a part of that. Now that Berean Chapel is a part of Converge MidAmerica, he is excited to work with other churches of all different sizes.
One of Berean Chapel’s areas of focus for the upcoming year is the LGBTQ community. Being located near one of Detroit’s largest LGBTQ communities, they believe it’s important to equip the church to be able to speak the truth in love. They want their congregation, especially the kids, to be prepared to have these conversations. Pastor McClendon is focusing on responding to the LGBTQ community in a way that glorifies God and affirms the humanity of the person, yet does not sanction the sin.
Berean Chapel has also recently become involved in a national ministry called GriefShare. This is a 13-week program to help those who are hurting after losing a loved one. And during the back-to-school season, Berean Chapel partners with two other churches in the community to serve 300-500 local families as they transition into a new school year.
Pastor McClendon’s hope for his local assembly is that they “continue to grow and become more effective at reaching the community for Christ.” He says that we’re living in a very unique and interesting time, and being able to learn from others and share with others is especially vital right now. As a church, Berean Chapel has a lot to share and a lot to learn.
We are excited to welcome Berean Chapel of Detroit into the Converge MidAmerica family!