During October 21-30th I was apart of an intensive documentary photography workshop with renowned photographer, Danny Wilcox Fraizer, at Central Michigan University. This workshop was titled “Fault Line: A Nation Divided,” and focused on exploring what has caused our society in the U.S. to be polarized and divided and communities that are working to build unity. Below is my story (which was finalized by myself, Danny Wilcox Fraizer, Kent Miller and a group of peers). There will be another post later explaining my experience, so look out for that. Enjoy!!
P.S. Thank you so much to the community of Mack Avenue Community Church for allowing me into your lives during this week, I am truly grateful.
Listen to this song while viewing photostory, it was presented to the public on the 30th with this audio addition. The song is sung in the Chruch during worship: “Awesome” by Charles Jenkins. This song was my inspiration for the mood and message of this photostory. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_UE7xgNOzM
“Going Block to Block, Neighbor by Neighbor”
Executive Pastor, Leon Stevenson, prays during his personal time in the sanctuary at Mack Avenue Community Church in Detroit on Tuesday, October 24, 2017.
On Saint Louis Street in Detroit resides Mack Alive, a community-based organization to help the East Detroit neighborhoods and citizens.
Executive Pastor, Leon Stevenson (center, green), addresses the Mack Avenue Community Church congregation about working together as a community to help each other succeed during the MACC Harvest Festival in Detroit, on Saturday, October 21, 2017.
The Egger Family, (left to right) Kristin (mother), Hazel (10 months), Silas (3 years), Dietrich (5 years), and Nate (father),gather together on the couch in their home in East Detroit after the kids got home from school on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. The Egger family has five children, three biological and two adopted.
Edythe Ford stands in her kitchen, that she is repairing, in her home in East Detroit on Friday, October 27, 2017. Edythe was awarded the Spirit of Detroit Award for her contributions and outreach in the community and neighborhood.
The Egger Family, (Clockwise) Kristin, Dietrich (10 months), Aoife (8 years), Nate, Hazel (10 months), Adelaide (7 years), and Silas (3 years) gather hands for prayer before dinner on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.
The congregation of Mack Avenue Community Church participates in worship by signing songs before Sunday service begins on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
(left to right) Aoife (8 years), Kristin, Silas (3 years), Nate, Dietrich (5 years), and Adelaide (7 years) listen to “Fly Guy” before reading a passage from the Bible in preparation of bedtime in their home in East Detroit, on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.
(right to left) Kristin Egger sings “My Little Sunshine” to her daughter Hazel (10 months) after her nightly ritual before laying her to sleep on Wednesday, October 25, 2017. Hazel was born prematurely and has problems keeping food down, she has a tube in her stomach to help with feeding and has to go through breathing treatments as well.
Children participants of MACC Sports warm up before the final soccer games in Pingry Park in East Detroit on Saturday, October 28, 2017. MACC Sports is apart of the MACC Development, one of the many ways Mack Avenue Community Church engages with the neighborhood community and racial reconciliation.
The community of MACC is centered in East Detroit off Mack Avenue. The church works to build connectivity between residents of Pingry Park and Indian Villiage. While areas in East Detroit are starting to improve in living conditions, there are still parts that battle blight and abandonment.
Eydthe Ford leaves a neighbors house after a spontaneous visit while Edythe was out for a walk, on Friday, October 27, 2017. Edythe goes out around the neighborhood and takes photos of houses and yards that are falling apart or in need of repair, during her “Click, Send, Fix” initiative for the community.
Nate Egger brushes son, Silas’ (3 years) teeth before bedtime while daughter, Adelaide (7 years) and son, Dietrich (5 years) act silly behind him, on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.
Edythe Ford (left) and Paris Randolph (right) sit together in Randolph’s house in East Detroit during a spontaneous visit on Friday, October 27, 2017.
MACC Development also has a youth division, focusing on their young children in the neighborhood and their academics. During this time on Tuesdays and Thursdays, children in the neighborhood come together for afterschool for bible study, physical activity, and academic tutoring.This is one of the many ways Mack Avenue Community Church engages with the neighborhood community and racial reconciliation.
(left to right) Dietrich (5 years), Silas (3 years), Nate Egger (father), and Aoife (8 years), gather around the “Donut on a String” activity during the MACC Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 21, 2017. The Harvest Festival was an initiative to bring the community and church members together for a family-friendly event and racial reconciliation.
*This photo essay was apart of a documentary photography workshop with renowned photographer, Danny Wilcox Fraizer, titled “Fault Line: A Nation Divided”*
Mack Avenue Community Church, located on the corner of Mack Avenue and Harding Street in East Detroit is a staple in the community. MACC works to build racial reconciliation in the community under the influence of God and one of their mottos, “Block by Block, Neighbor by Neighbor.”
MACC is lead by two pastors, Executive Pastor and Pastor of Community Development, Leon Stevenson, and Lead Pastor, Eric Russ. They are also assisted by a group of Church Elders and a Director of Operations. MACC Vision Statment is, “seeing communities transformed both spiritually and physically starting with our own.”
MACC also hosts 5 Ministries, including outReach Detroit, MACC Groups, MACC Development, MACC Youth, and MACC Kids. outReach Detroit is described as (from their website), “Outreach is an expression of Christian (followers of Jesus Christ) servants caring for others with intentionality so that those who live in the city of Detroit may experience true life.” MACC works to build opportunities for children, the community members, and church members to grow individually and as a group both spiritually and physically.
Members of MACC that truly stand out for their outreach and acts by the word of the Bible are the Egger Family and Edythe Ford.
The Egger family has 5 children, 3 biological and 2 adopted. When asked why the need to adopt, Kristin Egger states, “It is a three-fold reason:”
1. Because of Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed; Take up the cause of the orphan; plead the case of the widow.” and the Eggers state that they view this as a commandment by God. 2. They witnessed children in really poor foster homes in their neighborhood and wanted to help give them more opportunities. 3. Before they were married, both Nate and Kristin Egger wanted to adopt.
Edythe Ford was awarded the 2017 Spirit of Detroit award along with two other recognitions from the City of Detroit and the Detroit Police Department for her active work in making sure the community and neighborhood are safe and in good living conditions.
Mack Avenue Community Church is a bring the Church back into the active lives of the neighborhood and community. They are working with all people of all races to build unity and show the strength and hope that lives within Detroit.