Brandon Powell is a missionary through the US-2 young adult program of the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. Commissioned in August 2012, he is assigned as a caseworker and donations coordinator of the N.O.A.H. Project, a mission of Central United Methodist Church in Detroit, Michigan.
N.O.A.H. is a community of faith and hope in the heart of downtown Detroit. Some 100,000 people live within a three-mile radius of Central Church, more than a quarter of these households are low-income, African-American families. Almost 30 percent of area residents are between the ages of 15 and 24, while seniors comprise 14 percent. Homeless persons are a daily presence in the immediate vicinity of the church, with anywhere from 400 to 600 people lining up to receive services in any given week. The area has undergone a partial transformation in recent years due to the revitalization of downtown Detroit, with two new recreational spaces, Comerica Park and Ford Field, and very expensive lofts and apartments.
As a caseworker, Brandon sees “clients,” finding out what is going on in their lives, providing support with compassion and understanding, and providing referrals to emergency or long-term assistance. He deals with issues include housing, substance abuse, transportation, health services, and legal aid. N.O.A.H.’s philosophy centers on building trusting relationships and providing a family and support network to those who have lived so long without them. As a donation coordinator, he maintains a database of contributors and assists with internet and social network links.
Brandon is from Indian Trail, North Carolina, and is a member of the Matthews United Methodist Church in the Western North Carolina Annual Conference. He holds at Bachelor of Religious Studies degree from Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina. Summer work during college included Reach Workcamps, Appalachian State intramurals, and a summer working at Matthews Church. He plans to follow the pathway to ordained ministry.
“I have been a member of the church since I was born, so church has always been a large part of my life,” he says. “However, many of the issues of faith have come to light as I have grown to know the importance of understanding my faith and making it something that drives my everyday life.”
Brandon’s call to mission at this point in his life involves an awareness of the necessity of people from all walks of life “striving to live and serve the Lord together. While studying religion from a primarily academic standpoint, I have come to recognize the importance of having spiritual discipline, and that requires action. After all, how does one claim to live the Lord and not love other people?”
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: Detroit Annual Conference
, Western North Carolina Annual Conference
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