Labre at Forest Hill Church has always been a
Matthew 25 ministry intended to serve the least
fortunate among us.
History of Labre Ministry at FHC
Labre, originally an outreach ministry under the auspices of FHC, served in East Cleveland for more than a decade — first with the Salvation Army street-canteen and then as a sponsoring partner at Our Family Home Center, a drop-in community center at the corner of Euclid and Lee. In January 2020, Our Family Home Center was destroyed when a van crashed through its front wall. Since that time, Labre ministry leaders have been seeking new mission partners. More recently we worked with Pastor Anthony Mattox at the Empowerment Church in East Cleveland, assisting with outreach projects, and helping to restore their historic building on Euclid Avenue.
Then last spring, a new opportunity for ministry emerged at North Presbyterian Church, one of the last urban churches in our Presbytery. North Church has its origins in the mid- 19th century, thriving for many years in an historic building at the corner of Euclid and East 40th Street, a building now empty. In its struggle to exist and without a building of its own, North has been “adopted” by both the Presbytery of the Western Reserve and by Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries, a social service agency located just a few blocks east of the original North church. In the new LMM building, North has its own entrance, a dedicated worship space and common room, and it has access to a large, industrial, multi-purpose kitchen. North Church’s less than 100 members, are mostly men and women who are experiencing deep poverty and homelessness. Many of them come from the nearby shelters and off the street. The longtime pastor of North Church is the Reverend Charles Hurst. For more information about North Presbyterian Church follow this link:
FHC’s Labre Ministry — 2024
About a dozen Presbyterian churches throughout greater Cleveland partner with North Presbyterian Church. These congregations offer material support in the form of food and fellowship on Sunday mornings, and in addition, some churches offer financial support to help pay the rent, compensate Pastor Hurst, and simply keep the lights on. Last June (2023), FHC joined this partnership of churches. Throughout June we worshipped at North and helped prepare and serve the noon meal, which is offered by the partnering church each Sunday. Then last August (2023), we applied for, and North Church subsequently received, a $3000 community grant from Forest Hill Church, and we have followed up that gift by pledging to serve one Sunday per month (attending worship and providing the meal) throughout 2024.
Won’t you join us in 2024? We will need both food providers and on-site volunteers to bring friendship and hospitality to folks who desperately need it.
To volunteer or for more information, contact Jack Breisch.