I was interviewed back in June for this Sojourners article by Daniel Duncan Collum, "Why Does Glenn Beck Hate Community Organizers?" (a question that the article never attempts to answer, except in the tagline.).
I appreciated the opportunity to share how community organizing has invigorated our ministry in Hollywood. Hope you enjoy it!
Why Does Glenn Beck Hate Community Organizers?The Main Reason: They upend the power structure to give people at the bottom a better chance.
By Danny Duncan Collum
When Ryan Bell took over as pastor of Hollywood Adventist Church in California, it was a withering congregation with only about 50 active members. And, he says, “We had a homeless ministry we couldn’t afford and a debt that was about to kill the church.” Bell reluctantly closed the feeding program for the homeless but resolved to find a more practical way to address the issue.
The Adventist congregation threw itself into that effort, which succeeded against intense local opposition. After that experience, Bell told Sojourners, he went to the Voice organizer and said, ‘Where do we sign up to join?’” But the organizer told him that there had to be a committee of lay leaders involved. “I just groaned,” Bell remembers. “I thought, ‘That’ll never happen.’” But Hollywood Adventist is now an integral part of the LA Voice federation working for affordable housing.