After a rousing speech in 1926 given to one of High Point's most beautiful churches (Wesley Memorial) by Rev. Byrum, the faith community of High Point began the plan that would result in the creation of Ward Street Methodist Church.
In early 1927 Ward Street was established with the hope of introducing, or reintroducing people to a God who is in love with them, while giving them a place to belong and to become who they really are, but to do so in a way where their belonging wouldn't be dependent on them believing the right things or acting a particular way. And it worked. Shortly after Ward Street Methodist Church was established, it became a vibrant and active church in Southwest High Point.
However, over the next 75 years Ward Street Methodist went the way of many Christian churches in America, refusing to change with its community. White flight, racism, social inequality, immigration, shifting political climates, and the general metamorphosis that culture goes through over time continued to occur all around us, but we, Ward Street, tried to stay the same. We tried to keep our church the same as it had been in 1927.
In 2004, however, we realized that our attitude toward church and our community had been wrong and that we had failed. We had failed to change with the times. We had failed at being a place where our community could belong, or even wanted to belong. We failed to provide the style of worship that a modern and diverse community of worshippers needed. We failed to provide the love and support services that a modern and diverse community needed. We sang songs, decorated our building, conducted our business, staged meetings, and did church in a way that was completely irrelevant to the area and age in which we lived.
We failed at doing the very thing we were created, in 1927, to do. We failed at church.
So we quit. We stone cold quit church. At least the normal way of doing "church." From this quitting the old, irrelevant, unsustainable, and systemically broken way of doing church came The Ward Street Mission and Ward Street Community Resources. Instead of leaning away from change and from our neighborhood, we've leaned into it, consuming ourselves with loving and caring for our literal neighbors, making the neighborhood around us and the peoples' lives in it better just as Christ has done for us.
Now our focus is simple: We're not saving the world, we're not starting some nationwide movement.
We're focused on doing as little harm by our personal lives as possible, as much good in our neighborhood as possible, and learning to follow God better everyday.
WELCOME TO WARD STREET