Ed Lewis, president of CE National and director of Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia, welcomed Bill Muir and Glenn Tyson to Urban Hope Community Church. Both men grew up in the neighborhood around Urban Hope and attended Third Brethren Church. Bill began attending Third Brethren when he was five years old.
Back in 1998, Ed received a call from Evelyn Tyson, a member of Third Brethren Church. The church in downtown Philadelphia was closing and Evelyn asked Ed if CE National could use the buildings.
At the time, CE National was looking at Chicago for an urban ministry training center. But with the offer of Third Brethren’s buildings in Philadelphia, God directed CE National to the east and Urban Hope Training Center was born.
Third Brethren Church had a great heritage of producing leaders. Third Brethren is where Bill heard the gospel. The church sent out pastors and missionaries around the world. Glenn also grew up at Third Brethren where his dad, Joe, was a church leader. Both men attended Urban Hope Community Church on Sunday. They loved the service because the gospel was clearly taught and lives are being changed. It is obvious by the people who are involved and leading.
As the neighborhood around Third Brethren changed and members moved to the suburbs, they realized that, for the church to succeed, people needed to live in the neighborhood. With the church closing, the group still had the desire for the facilities to continue to be used for Jesus, which prompted the donation to CE National.
As a result, the Lord has allowed CE National to develop a training center where over 1200 people are trained to share their faith annually. Each visitor learns how to connect with other cultures and does ministry all over the city. Leaders from the community are also trained. Orlando Gonzalez serves as coordinator of the church along with Rob Rojas and others.
Praise God for the way Urban Hope Training Center can build on the rich heritage of Third Brethren Church and their vision for seeing people come to Jesus and grow into the believers God wants them to be.