Unity In Diversity: Multi-Ethnic Service in Downtown Lexington

Broadway Christian Church: A Multi-Ethnic Ministry Spotlight

Dream of Destiny is excited to share news of churches across the country that have a vision for the full expression of reconciliation that a multi-ethnic church offers.  In highlighting these churches, DoD hopes you’ll be encouraged by their testimony and will pray for their progress.  

Today the spotlight is on Broadway Christian Church of Lexington, Kentucky.  Broadway has a rich history, having gotten her start in 1870, with inaugural Sr. Minister J.W. McGarvey.  BCC’s associate minister, Adrian Wallace, is serving as today’s guest blogger. 

“We believe God still has us downtown for a purpose.”

Ernie Perry, the Senior Minister at Broadway Christian Church (Lexington, Kentucky), wrote in a Christian Standard article about the church’s inner-city ministry efforts. You can read Ernie’s article here.

Wallace with Senior Minister Ernie Perry

Our mission statement is that we “exist to be an epicenter of Jesus’ love and life transformation.” The elders at Broadway realized that mission could not be fulfilled downtown in the all too common homogenous, segregated silo that plagues the American Church.

I joined the staff at Broadway in September 2013 with the two-fold, primary mission of helping the congregation and leadership become more diverse while also fulfilling God’s purpose for Broadway in downtown Lexington through urban ministry. The key to both of these commitments is obediently living out the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. Incarnational ministry is the only ministry. We are called to love people and make disciples, which can’t happen apart from authentic, consistent relationship. This is not only true within the urban context, but of all aspects of evangelism and discipleship.

Paul succinctly explains the evangelistic method in which we should prescribe to in First Corinthians 9: 19-23:

Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

The Church in America today will be most effective by adhering to Paul’s advice: “become all things to all [people]…for the sake of the Gospel.” There is no one, cookie cutter model for urban ministry and furthermore this method of contextualized ministry doesn’t mean we abandon Truth (See also Acts 15 & 16: 1-5).

I’m often asked, “Why urban ministry?” or “What is urban ministry and what makes it unique?” Ray Bakke has written about the urbanization of America and points out that the peoples of the world are flooding to the United States, gathering in urban cores. What better mission field? What better place to “teach all nations?” What better place to seek ‘shalom’ than within the trenches of inner-cities where the diversity of socio-economic status, ethnicity and culture are so intertwined?

Broadway Christian Church Lexington, KY

Broadway Christian Church sits in the middle of an extremely diverse, multi-faceted population and we’re seeking to touch each and every aspect of this mission field. We realize, however, that we can’t do it alone. From the beginning, we have sought to bridge the gap between “black” and “white” churches to most effectively minister to the East End Neighborhood in which we are targeting our efforts. We work alongside civic, educational, para-church organizations, as well as other churches, across denominational lines, to help usher in the Kingdom of God and truly seek the ‘shalom’ of Lexington, Kentucky; home of the Big Blue Nation (#BBN).

Across our nation, there is a renewed desire to see the downtown area of cities revitalized and vibrant. Many civic leaders speak of building great American cities. I believe that we can’t have such a city if we overlook those in greatest need within them-rich or poor. We, the Church universal, must focus attention on transforming people and places by the Gospel and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Taking cues from the work of great minds like Dr. John Perkins, the Christian Community Development Association, BLOC Ministries in Cincinnati and many others, we are currently seeking to expand our incarnational approach and initiate entrepreneurial and educational opportunities that will bring community and economic development to downtown Lexington.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

-Matthew 28: 18-20

About Adrian Wallace

Adrian WallaceAdrian Wallace serves as an associate minister at Broadway Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky. He is their key liaison for urban outreach and the effort to transition Broadway’s homogenous congregation into a healthy, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic church. He is also a Lexington native born into a family of church planters and pastors in the Church of Christ.

Adrian truly believes in our movement and the work of unifying the Body, in all of her diversity, striving to usher in God’s kingdom on earth.

Adrian and his wife, Jennifer, have four beautiful girls and one boy.

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