In early 2017, Pastor Brown shared his vision for another crusade with several local pastors and ministers in a meeting. As the idea was discussed and considered, Pastor Brown said, “I don’t want another crusade where saved people come together and have church and then go back home and to their home churches and no one from the community gets saved.” “What’s the point”? The clergy members in that meeting heard his plea and began to see his vision. Out of that thirst for lost souls to be saved and for hurting people to be helped, the theme Heart 4 The Community Initiative (H4TCI) was born. Those gathered clergy members joined in with Pastor Brown’s vision and began to lay the framework for an initiative that would not only bring the Word of God to the community but also the Love of God, manifested intangible, natural goods and services that would enhance the community. That evening, they decided that this would not be a one-time event, but a long-term effort to meet the continuing needs of a community. Since most of the clergy, attending the meeting represented congregations in the Woodbridge/Dumfries/Triangle area, it was decided to begin the initiative in that community, and overtime the following vision and mission statements were developed to guide the work of the initiative:
Revised Vision: TTo be a trusted connection between the needs of diverse communities and the collaborative partners and participants that meet that need.
Revised Mission: To proclaim the Gospel consistently and effectively through community events, informative social media, and social ministry programs.
What an amazing year 2017 was for the H4TCI. We were blessed to host three community events in which the community at large was served and honored. Our first event held on April 29, 2017, introduced the community at large to our initiative with access to community services, medical expertise, food, and entertainment and salvation. Emboldened by the success and driven by God’s direction, a subsequent event was held on August 26, 2017. This event was a Community Day which featured the free donation of school supplies, health care screenings (i.e. blood pressure, cholesterol, oral care, etc.), food, and the sharing of the Word of God. It was well-received, and more importantly, a blessing to the community. Fast forward to November 18, 2017, and the H4TCI moved forward under God’s direction to provide free warm clothing and Thanksgiving baskets for those in need. With temperatures dropping in the area and the economic state of the community requiring assistance, the event was a sorely needed respite and a balm for weary souls.
In 2019, H4TCI came together to help Northern Virginia Community College's (NVCC) Woodbridge Campus. On November 18th, 2019, H4TCI hosted an event at the Woodbridge Campus of NVCC. We brought several resources with us to include counselors that dealt with emotional and stressful issues, finance & credit education, debt-free college education information, blood pressure screening and community health information. Our most important resource that day was that we restocked the Birdhouse. The Birdhouse is an on-campus resource that allows underprivileged students to come in and get food, drinks, hygiene items, blankets, socks, etc. The Birdhouse had run very low and needed help. H4TCI collected a huge donation from the community to take to NVCC. We filled the Birdhouse!
Presently, H4TCI is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization which is comprised of several churches and a host of human service organizations coordinating free health assessments, blood pressure, and diabetes screenings, fitness & nutrition classes, clothing, food, and salvation.
And the work of the Lord is not over yet. The future years promises to be bigger and more inclusive.