Washington, D.C., Church Provides Wi-Fi to Neighborhood
One Washington, D.C., church has found a way to become part of its neighbors’ daily activities.
BY COLUMBIA UNION VISITOR staff
Located some seven blocks from the nation’s capitol building, Allegheny East Conference’s Fourth Street Friendship church in Washington, D.C.,is in the center of a fast-growing neighborhood. Realizing that the gentrifying community around them didn’t need some of the outreach services that they traditionally offered, like a soup kitchen, they decided to focus on technology. So they installed a tower that gives their gentrifying community access to free Wi-Fi in exchange for viewing messages about events at the church.
Already some 1,500 neighbors have logged on and become aware of the church, causing Andrew Harewood, former senior pastor, to conclude, “We have to think in terms of unique relevance. It used to be about soup and sandwiches; now it’s about technology.”
Harewood noted that with a church located every three or four blocks in the neighborhood, members needed to offer something that the other churches were not offering. “Now we can go into their homes,” he said, adding that he has gained many followers on his personal Twitter account because of this service.
The church continues to operate a meal service for those who need it. How is your church meeting a need in your community?
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