Warren ministry looking for new home after they say church asked them to leave

Local News

A pastor is scrambling to find a new place to house her outreach efforts. The Basement Ministries was asked to move out of a Warren church and now has nowhere to go.

“Well, it’s definitely God’s plan because I don’t know the plan right now,” Pastor Julia Wike said.

She operated the Basement Ministries out of First Church United Methodist until last week when she was told she’d have to move on.

Wike is known for helping the community. Now she needs the community to help her.

Her outreach program feeds the poor and tends to the addicted — people she says are often turned away.

“Going out on the street, reaching people or even having a place for people to come back to,” she said.

For the past five years, that place was First Church United Methodist on Warren’s north side.

“We keep clothes, and food and all of that here,” Wike said.

When the church gave the Basement Ministries two weeks’ notice, she was crushed.

“I need a location. I need a place.”

Emily French lives with four other women in God’s Refuge House. It’s a sober program born out of the Basement Ministries.

She said they need to find a host building in order to do their best work.

“I’ve been homeless and on the streets, and I’ve needed to go to food banks and churches, and it was always those kinds of churches that really helped me.”

While a spot for the Basement Ministries is up in the air, Wike said her cause remains the same — helping the community one meal and prayer at a time.

“My life is not my own and there are people still hurting, and so I choose to go out and rescue. I choose to reach them regardless of whether I have a place or not.”

The Basement Ministries needs space to accommodate 150 to 200 people, as well as a functioning kitchen where they can prepare and serve food.

If anyone offers the ministry a space, they need to understand and accept its clientele, who are poor and addicted.

If you have a space that you would like to give to Wike and her ministry, call her at 330-881-7124.

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