“On every corner of this city, you can find two things: a liquor store and a church,” said James Smith, a senior at the University of Memphis. “I have never lived in a city with this many churches. I guess I am in the middle of the Bible Belt.”
With close to 2,000 churches in the city of Memphis, it is not unreasonable to ask the question— what is the role of the “church” and are they fulfilling the role? With all of the crime, poverty, and homelessness, what is the church doing to help combat these needs? The University of Memphis stands tall in the district with over 22,000 students. How is the church connecting with this major university that sits in its back yard?
The search for a church within walking distance of the campus was not long. Exactly one block from the U of M sits St. Luke’s United Methodist Church where Michael Pence serves as pastor.
Pence said the role of the church universally and even locally is to be the light of the world and that, in order to evaluate any community for its strengths and its weaknesses, first start by examining what those churches are doing.
“I believe that the church is supposed to be that place that sets the example,” he said.