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Last updated August 09.

Aug. 6, 2012 issue

Construction projects build kingdom in Philadelphia

By Sheldon C. Good Mennonite World Review

MCC Philadelphia program coordinator J. Fred Kauffman said he is excited for KBC, which has worked on so many church facilities across Philadelphia, to finally acquire its own.

Juan Marrero, left, Dan Umstead and Ron Muse discuss the layout of Christ-Centered Church’s sanctuary, being built in a North Philadelphia warehouse. Marrero is pastor of Christ-Centered Church, Umstead is director of Kingdom Builders Construction, and Muse is a prison chaplain supported by Mennonite Central Committee.

Juan Marrero, left, Dan Umstead and Ron Muse discuss the layout of Christ-Centered Church’s sanctuary, being built in a North Philadelphia warehouse. Marrero is pastor of Christ-Centered Church, Umstead is director of Kingdom Builders Construction, and Muse is a prison chaplain supported by Mennonite Central Committee. — Photo by Sheldon C. Good/MWR

“The combination of having [KBC] focused in one space and Christ-Centered Church worshiping there … seems like a nexus of opportunity and possibility,” he said.

Work with ex-offenders

Earlier this year KBC worked on the urban education space of Spirit and Truth Fellowship in North Philadelphia. As a result, the businessman who owns that space, Brian Mast, offered use of his warehouse to KBC.

Mast has divided the warehouse into four parts: one each for his cleaning-and-restoration company, KBC and two other Christian ministries.

According to KBC director Dan Umstead, Mast hopes the building becomes “an epicenter for ministry” that can help further their missions.

For its part, KBC’s three main purposes are to:

— Help renovate and repair Anabaptist churches and ministry facilities in Philadelphia;

— Facilitate rural-urban interaction; and

— Provide home repair for elderly and low-income church members.

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