- Posted April 9, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
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Pastor Curt Friday ~ Using "Love" to Stop Violence
Pastor Curtis Friday (affectionately known as Pastor Curt) is a man of God who stands on the word of God. Recognizing the times in which we are living, he has a desire to see people’s lives changed and improved through relevant and practical application of the Word of God. Pastor Curt understands that he is called to reach the unchurched and hurting by showing them the love of God he experiences daily.
While being groomed as a minister & leader, Pastor Curt learned the significance of being sold out and totally committed to God. That teaching along with the guidance of his Pastor, Mike McClure Jr., Pastor R.A. Vernon (Shepherd's Connection), and other ministers in the gospel, coupled with the Holy Spirit has fueled his drive and the formation of THE LOVE CHURCH (TLC) where “WiiSERVE WiiPRAISE WiiWORSHIP WiiBELIEVE WiiGIVE WiiLOVE". The Love Church has since grown to over two hundred members and has outgrown its three previous locations and has recently found its new home in a 14,000 square foot edifice on the north side of Winston Salem in an area Pastor Curt delights in as it sits right across the street from a local prison. He finds pleasure in every opportunity to reach in and bless the members of TLC as well as reach out and bless the community. While serving as the Senior Pastor of The Love Church, Pastor Curt also serves as President of the recently formulated Citizens For Change (CFC): Community Outreach Organization where the focus is offering solutions to the inner city problems and violence in the city of Winston Salem. While enthused to serve as the Senior Pastor of TLC & President of CFC, Pastor Curt honors the privilege to serve as husband and father to his wife Shameka and daughter Lateria.
I was honored to speak with Pastor Curt Friday, to learn more about what drives his passion to bring the church to the streets and how to keep Christ alive in everyday life.
What is The Love Church and what separates you from other churches?
He quickly stated that, “The Love Church is open to different lifestyles and not bound to religious dogma. They are considered non- denominational, but you might see some Baptist or Pentecostal practices.” He stressed that “Denomination” means separate, and that is one thing that The Love Church does not do, they leave no one out, and their doors are always open to bring Christ closer to his people.
So at the age of 28, you and your wife revealed the vision of The Love Church to five friends, what lead you to this vision.
“I was led to that decision,” he said. One thing that made this interview so unique is that Pastor Curt was, at one point of time, the same person who he is now trying to save. In his story he shared that he is originally from Baltimore, Maryland. His mother was arrested and later locked up, he was forced to move to Winston Salem, NC., only to find himself behind bars threatened with 30 years. But by the grace of God he was released early, married his wife, and found the passion and calling to reach folks that could not be heard.
His vision to save others was very urgent, that he reached out to people who were like him, understood the struggle, and who didn't mind leading others to Christ!!
You serve as President of Citizens For Change (CFC): Community Outreach Organization, tell us about that.
Community Outreach Organization is a corporation that came together in Winston Salem, NC because of the senseless violence, individuals getting murdered, and families being hurt, torn, and divided because of it. This organization has brought together ex-drug dealers, ex-offenders (men and women), mentors, and other clergy to help current inmates get job, support, assistance, and guidance. The main focus is preventing our youth from entering the streets or going down a path that they can not easily turn around from.
Community Outreach Organization is also starting GED classes to help those finish their education and receive their high school diploma. If you interested in volunteering or need assistance from this organization, you can contact Pastor Curt at email@example.com.
Why is giving back to those in the street so important to you?
“I did not have no one to tell me or encourage me to stay away from the street. I had to live and learn the hard way so the Community Outreach Organization and The Love Church are my platforms to help those in need. If I had somebody with the type of knowledge that God has given me, I would have not gone the path I went. So giving back has allowed me to be who I needed but didn’t have during my trouble days,” he said.
He also shared how people in the street are lacking love and they don’t feel accepted. He knows that he is not going to be able to save every person, but his goal is to simply save one. “My passion is because my mother, my dad, my brother and I went to drugs; it’s time to stop the cycle,” he said.
“If a young man came to you, what would you? What would you encourage him to do? The one reason why our youth are so angry and leaning to the streets is because they feel that no one cares and no one can be trusted. That is the purpose of Community Outreach Organization, to encourage individuals to drop the guns and come to God, to stop the crime and come to church, to love Christ as he loves us, and offer them services to ensure they have a brighter future instead of a life of pain.
It’s a fight! It’s a struggle! and It will take Jesus to save them!
Do you see Citizens For Change (CFC) expanding to other cities?
I do see it going to other cities, but it must win in my city of Winston Salem first!!!
THE LOVE CHURCH
4198 Cherry Street
Winston Salem, NC 27105
(336) 525-1LOV (1568)