Church Planting in Lawrenceville and Bloomfield

(www.hopeforpittsburgh.org) Pittsburgh is a city at the crossroads. The smoggy steel city that once stood at the source of the Ohio River is a thing of the past. Today Pittsburgh is a vibrant technology-driven city, which other industrial cities are now looking to as an example of civic recovery.

While Pittsburgh has many of the amenities of a larger city, the warm and informal atmosphere found in its local neighborhoods means that Pittsburgh feels much more inviting than many other cities. Lawrenceville and Bloomfield are two such neighborhoods. On a summer night you’ll find countless people walking around after dinner at a local restaurant or sitting on their front porch, chatting with each other, sometimes for hours.

Over the last several years Lawrenceville and Bloomfield have experienced dramatic changes. Where fifteen years ago Lawrenceville was known for drugs and prostitution, today it is a rapidly changing neighborhood which the Washington Post recently dubbed the Brooklyn of the Steel City. It has a vibrant arts scene and a large base of locally owned shops. The redevelopment of its commercial district and the establishment of a new children’s hospital have begun to reshape the neighborhood. Similarly, Bloomfield has also redeveloped around a revitalized commercial district and West Penn Hospital, a major regional health provider.Though both neighborhoods are very diverse, each neighborhood could be seen as mainly comprised of working-class residents, with many people working for one of the two major hospitals. About half of the people have completed high school, a little over a quarter have a Bachelors degree, and around one in nine have a Graduate degree. Over 17,000 people live in the 2.5 sq. miles that make up Lawrenceville and Bloomfield.

While this area is densely populated and there is major redevelopment occurring, the spiritual vitality of the area is less evident. There are very few churches present in the community. Even most of the mainline protestant and Catholic churches are absent from Lawrenceville and Bloomfield, or are in the process of consolidating.

The residents of these neighborhoods need a local church that is willing to patiently walk with them as they examine Christ’s claims. They need a church that understands that most people have not grown up with a Christian understanding of life. They need a church where they can continually celebrate his grace as they seek to follow him in every part of their lives.

Beginning this summer the core group will begin meeting to plan serve and pray about this new church community.

For more information contact Sam DeSocio

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  • University of Pittsburgh RUF

    Derek Bates, Campus Minister
    pitt.ruf.org
    phone: 314.229.0218
    email: dbates@ruf.org

  • Harvest USA

    Greater Pittsburgh Region
    11743 Frankstown Rd., Ste. E
    Pittsburgh, PA 15235
    Director: Jim Weidenaar
    harvestusa.org
    phone: 412.723.2966
    email: jim@harvestusa.org