WJTV News Channel 12 - FAITH IN FOCUS: West Jackson Church Works to Find "Common Ground

"We have a lot of poverty. We have a lot of low economic status. We have a lot of families that are broken, a lot of single-parent families like myself," Turner said.

FAITH IN FOCUS: West Jackson Church Works to Find "Common Ground"

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JACKSON, MS -

Singer and church member at "Common Ground", Michelle Turner, says West Jackson needs uplifting. She thinks about the direction the community is going while keeping her two-year-old daughter, Kaielizabeth, in mind.

"We have a lot of poverty. We have a lot of low economic status. We have a lot of families that are broken, a lot of single-parent families like myself," Turner said.

"When we talk about west Jackson you talk about, you know, a lot of people see crime, violence," Lead Pastor at Common Ground, John Perkins, said.

Perkins says he believes the church was called to this area and the group is pushing the idea of discipleship.

That means their not just bringing people to believe in Jesus but also turning them into mentors in the community to multiplying the impact.

"73% of the families without our community, children are being raised without fathers in their homes. So we have single mother homes mostly," Perkins said.

And along with the community healing there is another goal to intentionally and deliberately bring together a racially diverse group of people.

"To bring forth a multi-ethnic, multi-generational community of people is very difficult. A lot of people are telling us that it can't be done," Perkins said.

"When you come into the midst of the fellowship you see this mix/melting pot of people. And you start to get happy and excited because you see the divisions in life are fading away," Perkins said.

And for Michelle Turner, who is a former educator in West Jackson, those are the issues that interested her when she learned the church was being planted.

"It was important to me because these are my children. They've always been my children," Turner said.

"Knowing that there is a greater power that loves you greater than any absent father, or any absent mother, or any absent anything. So, just being able to provide a presence in that community that heals - there are a lot of people that are just broken," Turner said.

The church is still going through its trial period - housed in Voice of Calvary Church in Jackson.

Their holding welcome services one Sunday each month until their planned grand opening on March 2, 2014.

And if you'd like to share your church community with the viewers of News Channel 12 you can contact Jacob Kittilstad at jkittilstad@wjtv.com or 601-664-8839.

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