Philadelphia, the birthplace of the nation, is one of our great cities. But it is also a city of great spiritual need. There are 3.1 million people in the greater Philadelphia area who do not know Christ.
“Lostness is rampant here. There is a sense of hopelessness,” said area pastor K. Marshall Williams. “So when I heard about My Hope, I was excited, because it is about helping people to come to know the Lord Jesus Christ—and penetrating darkness by introducing them to the light.”
When the church he pastors, Nazarene Baptist Church, hosted a My Hope event, the building was filled with church members and guests alike. He was thrilled with the results.
“When everybody started coming forward, I said, ‘Thank You, Lord. You answered prayer.’ Our labor was not in vain,” recalled Williams. “So many times, you plant and water, but don’t see the increase. But God did it.”
One of the fruits of that labor was teenager Aaliyah Allen. She was headed in a bad direction—a life of “getting into trouble,” until she attended the My Hope event at Williams’ church. She is one of the many who came forward to turn her life over to Christ.
“I was watching the film, and [Billy Graham] said that God loved us all,” said Aaliyah. “When I got saved, I felt like everything was starting from a new slate.”
It is through life changes like Aaliyah’s, along with the ongoing My Hope efforts in his beloved city, that make the future look bright in the eyes of Pastor Williams.
“My Hope is a catalyst—a stimulus—to get [church] members out of the pews,” he said. “It’s just the beginning of reaching out and training more people to do it in their homes, where they can reach their friend, relatives, neighbors and acquaintances with the love of Jesus.”