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Andy Abrams Discipleship House // Jackson, MS Ministry

Late in the summer of this year, a dear friend from our church asked us to help with an amazing project. Jason ‘Smiley’ Abrams, a local college campus minister with InterVarsity Fellowship (IV), shares his vision for a Discipleship House in Jackson in memory of (and to continue the work of) his father, Andy Abrams:

“Imagine if every neighborhood surrounding the college campus had a house where intentional missional community living took place. The common areas in the house could be used for bible studies and other off-campus gatherings that would build relationships over food, fun and fellowship. The students would not only be discipled through community living, but they would also make a positive impact on their surrounding neighborhood. This holistic discipleship allows students to have eyes to see the harvest on their campuses. Then, they would be able to see unreached places on their campuses in order to be even more intentional to reach unreached students.

Is this a discipleship house or a rental property? Jackson, MS is not a typical “college town”. However, there are 3 HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges), 3 Private institutions, and 2 community colleges with multiple campuses educating over 40,000 students total. Each school has a different gift to offer the city. The majority of the students are commuters. However, with the exception of limited student housing on campus, there are not ample rental properties close to many of the institutions. This forces many commuters to stay with their parents or rent from slum lords. There is a need for good quality rental properties. With proper management, we will maintain affordable yet quality homes with the clear mission to financially support the staff on the campuses in the Jackson metro area as well as provide discipleship opportunities for residents.”

1. Developing Disciples. Students will share life together through intentional missional community. Tenants will participate in leadership development and multi-generational small groups. IV homes will be open to host off-campus events such as movie nights, bible studies, dinners, etc. in order to grow the IV community on campus.

2. Networking. IV homes will be located in neighborhoods near the college campus. One of our goal is to strategically partner with churches, local businesses and community leaders across the Jackson Metro Area to focus on holistic development. IV College students will be able to serve with local nonprofits to impact the marginalized in our society. During the summer the homes will be used to house students who participate in the Jackson Urban Mission Program (JUMP).

3. Rebuilding. InterVarsity Campus Jackson dreams to empower students to help rebuild the brokenness within our communities in 3 ways:

a. Physically. Purchasing homes in the neighborhood will increase value in places that are often marginalized.

b. Spiritually. A Christian home on a block will provide an atmosphere of prayer and worship. It would also allow residents to grow in spiritual formation by having community and accountability.

c. Emotionally. Restoring hope to hopeless neighborhoods and students.

4. Funding. Every InterVarsity staff is required to raise his/her entire salary. Rental revenue from the homes will provide additional resources for the area budget which will provide matching grants to support low networked staff, operating expenses, student scholarships, etc. Student leaders, volunteers, and staff will pay affordable rent of which at least 50% will be donated for the staff matching grants, 25% for property maintenance, 25% savings to purchase additional homes.

This is a multi-family property containing 12 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, and 2 kitchens. We purchased this property for $18,000 plus closing costs on April 13, 2018. A property this size would typically need over $300,000 in complete total rehab costs. The combination of a strong foundation, multiple volunteers, and strategic church partners, we plan to save over $100,000 in rehab cost. The property has no major damages to siding, flooring, roofing, and foundation. However, we plan to raise approximately $200,000 in renovation costs including electrical, plumbing, remodeling, painting, appliances and furniture.

We plan to divide this multi-family property into separate units. The first unit will contain a full kitchen, bathroom, a basement, guest room, prayer room, office, and living room. The guest room will be used for any visitors that may come to partner with InterVarsity on campus. We may also use the guest room for AirBnB weekend rentals at least once per month. The office will be equipped with state of the art video conferencing capabilities, planning tools, and a well stocked library of InterVarsity Press books and references available for IV staff, volunteers, and student leaders for bible study prep. The prayer room will be equipped with surround sound, scriptures, candles available for individuals or small groups any time. Staff, students or volunteers will be able to use kitchen and living room space for fellowship opportunities. The remainder of the property will be used for student residence living.”

Donate or get more info for this project: Andy Abrams Foundation

Filmmakers: Pioneer Productions

Church: Common Ground Covenant Church

Music: When Mountains Move

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Jubilee Conference

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Jubilee Conference

Hope everyone is staying well and warm out there! In-between editing weddings and engagement sessions, we have been working on a short series project for a conference called Jubilee ‘18 that will be held in Jackson this weekend. The videos above are interviews with two Jackson ministry leaders, and tomorrow we’ll be filming a cinematic intro for the conference as well.

The mission of Jubilee is:

“TO UNITE CHURCHES,  NON-PROFITS,  AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO STRATEGICALLY MEET THE NEEDS OF THE POOR IN JACKSON.”

The vision for this event was conceived by our church family, Common Ground, so it is very close to our heart. We’ve been thankful to meet and work with so many great people from all around the city on this project! To learn more about Jubilee ‘18, visit their Facebook event or www.jubileejxn.org. 

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Taste of West Jackson Food Competition {Ministry}

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Taste of West Jackson Food Competition {Ministry}

Here are two more of our restaurant spotlights filmed as promotional content for the 2nd annual Taste of West Jackson! E & L Barbeque is one of the most popular places to eat in this neighborhood and has been owned by the same family for nearly 30 years. La Reata is the only competitor in the event whose specialty is Mexican food. They are by far, in our opinion, the best place to get a burrito in Jackson. Last week we featured Famo, another competitor, on our blog - you can go back to check out the story of how he brought his dream from Chicago to Jackson. This Saturday people from all around the city will gather to sample tasty food and vote for their favorite West Jackson restaurant or caterer. Our church, Common Ground Covenant Church, is hosting this event in our neighborhood park. To us, it's not just a fun event to bring community members together; it's bigger than that. We hope that through the Taste of West Jackson, these small business owners will gain new customers and partners in the community, encourage everyone to shop local, and boost the economic growth of our community. This event is just one piece of a larger plan to help the development of West Jackson.

These event promo videos may seem completely different than our wedding videos, but we have one primary goal with everything that we shoot: to tell the story. Whether we are working with a wedding party or a business team, our mission is to authentically tell the story of each person we film. None of our films are rehearsed or forced, we capture everything as it unfolds and meticulously edit small pieces together until the story is born.

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Taste of West Jackson Food Competition {Ministry}

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Taste of West Jackson Food Competition {Ministry}

We have recently enjoyed filming and interviewing several restaurant owners for an upcoming competition hosted by our church called the Taste of West Jackson. We've been wanting to branch out into doing some videos for businesses for a while now and it's been a fun process! This particular video was made for Chi-town Salads and Sandwiches. The story behind Famo's restaurant made for an exciting editing process! We're planning on doing several more videos for the other restaurants participating in the competition. You can check out the other films we've done thus far on the Common Ground Facebook page. We can't wait to share more of our work soon! 

 

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Common Ground Enterprises {Ministry} - Jackson, MS

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Common Ground Enterprises {Ministry} - Jackson, MS

Our church home, Common Ground Covenant Church, is located in west Jackson, Mississippi. We have recently been given the opportunity to create content and films for the media outreach ministry. We're excited to see where God leads us with this endeavor and to hopefully reach the city of Jackson and surrounding communities. One of our latest films began as an application video for an emerging leader grant with Wheat Ridge Ministries, but it recently gained attention on social media from community developers and church planters around the country with over 2.5 thousand views as of today.

The film primarily focuses on one of our newest ministries: Common Ground Enterprises. Through creating workforce development opportunities, we are working towards sustainable solutions to reduce poverty in our community. Watch the full film to learn more about each of our enterprises. We are excited to be a part of Common Ground and the work the Lord is doing in the community.

Here are some ways you can be involved in this ministry:

  • Pray for us - both personally and through your church.
  • If you are local to the Jackson area, contact us for more information on how you can hire Common Ground catering for your next event or wedding!
  • Support Common Ground through a one-time donation or monthly donation here: http://commongroundjxn.org/general-giving/ (any amount is greatly appreciated!)
  • Visit our church service to see for yourself how God is working! We meet at 531 W. Capitol St. in Jackson, MS on Sundays at 10:37 a.m. (after Luke 10:37). 

We'll continue to update the blog with our CGCC media!

 

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