In Episode 010 of the Hoosier United Methodist Podcast, Dr. Brad Miller speaks with Rev. Charles Harrison, Sr. Pastor of The Barnes United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Rev. Harrison has been pastor of Barnes UMC for 22 years, which is located in an urban neighborhood with one of the highest violent crime rates in the country. Under Rev. Harrison’s leadership Barnes UMC has responded to the violence by organizing with other neighborhood churches into an organization called the “10 Point Coalition” whose primary focus is saving neighborhood young people from violence. Rev. Harrison speaks about the faith teams sent by the 10 Point Coalition into the streets of the neighborhoods to build positive relationships with people, police and community leaders based on prayer and building trusting relationships. Rev. Harrison tells a poignant story of the faith teams responding to a scene of a violent death, where through the power of prayer and peaceful presence the church “stood in the gap” of a combustible situation between angry crowds and the police leading to a spiritual experience for all involved. Brad also asks Rev. Harrison about the discerning process he went through when considering a run for the office of Mayor of Indianapolis. Rev. Harrison goes on to offer helpful encouragement to local church pastors and leaders looking to get involved with responding to the needs of their community.
Rev. Charles Harrison (317) 923-9197