Things have been hard in Flint, Michigan for a long time. It has a rich and fascinating history, but it is a shell of what it used to be. In the 1980’s as the local economy suffered through an early downturn in General Motors, the City and other interested parties joined together to build the sixth largest hotel in the state of Michigan in Flint. It was a bold idea that coincided with the development of Auto World. Auto World failed and the hotel never prospered. It went on the market and a private donor purchased it and donated it to a Christian organization.
In 2002 I was appointed as the general manager of the Hotel renamed The Character Inn. I resigned my church, moved into the building with the family and began a ministry I could never have imagined. We lived there in the Inn for four fascinating years.
As soon as I arrived in town I was welcomed onto teams working to help revive Flint, especially the downtown. I was named to the Flint Area Convention and Visitors board and the Downtown Development Authority board. We did what we could to be a positive presence in the downtown. There were many who gave and worked and cooperated because of their love for the City of Flint or their interest in seeing it thrive. There was a small, quiet group that few people but God ever noticed.
If I was behind the front desk on a Thursday morning I would sometimes see them. They were three older women. Rarely more or less. They came every Thursday morning. They got a key for a room on the sixteenth floor overlooking the city. They went to the room and for an hour they prayed.
Only God and a few others know of their labor and their faithfulness in prayer. And God alone knows the fruit of their labor. They were women who gave themselves continually to prayer.
May God give the women and men of Evangel a prayer burden and faith to believe that He will hear and answer prayer in this wonderful, opportunity-filled, desperate times.
Pastor Ken Pierpont
The Pastor’s Study – Evangel Baptist Church
February 13, 2009