Southeast Louisville Church breathing new life into Portland nei - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Southeast Louisville Church breathing new life into Portland neighborhood

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The church is using the center to make a difference in a neighborhood that has a history of violence and drugs. The church is using the center to make a difference in a neighborhood that has a history of violence and drugs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A church in southeast Jefferson County is breathing life into Louisville's troubled Portland neighborhood.

The Kingdom Fellowship Center recently took over the former Mackin Center in Portland. Now the church is using the center to make a difference in a neighborhood that has a history of violence and drugs.

"I've seen family members go through it," Angela Kelley said. "They're tired of the drama."

Kelley was born and raised in the Portland neighborhood and says she and her family have seen the area go from bad to worse.

"The drug overdoses, the killings, I mean, it's sad," she said.

But these days, Kelley says a new neighbor is changing that.

"They welcome me with open arms," Kelley said. "Don't matter who you are, what color, they always say you're always welcome, the doors are open."

The drive led Senior Pastor Tim Findley Jr. and his members to add a second location and re-open the doors at the former Mackin Center in Portland.

"We saw an opportunity for ministry and that's what drives us," Pastor Findley said during the midweek, noon Bible study. The meeting is part of the Kingdom Fellowship Center group. It's more than just a second campus for the growing church.

"The majority of what happens here services this area," Pastor Findley said.

That service includes an open gym, daily meals and job fairs.

"I think that's why we've had such an impact because we're saying: 'We're not here trying to take something from you, we're here to put something in the community,'" he said.

The area has a long history of drugs and violence, which caused some to question the move and even Findley's sanity.

"Not only did they say 'you are crazy,' but I thought I was crazy when I walked in here and saw -- because the building had not been used in a really long time," Findley said.

He says the new faces at bible study show the investment is paying off.

"Not only do they come to bible study but we've grown in our relationships with them," he explained. "We would rather them be here, where we know they're safe and we're making an impact for the future in their lives."

The need and demand have been so great that the church has recently extended its hours.

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