United in Christ Ministries

Grand Rapids, MI   |  www.unitedinchristgr.com

Mission

Mission Statement: Connecting kids to Christ, our community, and local Churches.

UICM is a faith-based non-profit organization committed to bettering the southwest Grand Rapids neighborhoods of the Black Hills and Roosevelt Park through empowering youth. We are a diverse, multi-generational community that has a passion for building relationships with God and each other. We offer a place to belong where community residents can focus on discovering their potential and using their gifts to serve and uplift those around them.

Ruling year info

2006

Executive Director

Troy Williams Sr.

Main address

1035 Godfrey Ave Sw

Grand Rapids, MI 49503 USA

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EIN

20-3511030

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Christian (X20)

Religious Leadership, Youth Development (O55)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

God's Club

God’s Club is the urban reality of good old-fashioned West Michigan Vacation Bible School. Every Saturday morning of any given month, young kids gather together to sing songs, learn bible stories, do crafts, enjoy lunch, and just experience the loving kindness of the volunteers from our partnering Churches. Words cannot explain the IMPACT experienced by both our kids and the volunteers that participate each and every week. God’s Club is the cornerstone of our youth programs and is the best gateway we have for introducing potential volunteers into the work that God is doing through UICM in the Black Hills.

Population(s) Served

KidsZone is similar to God's Club, only on a healthy dose of steroids. It is a high energy gathering on Wednesday nights throughout the school year, where an average of 70+ youth gather for a time of worship, dinner, crafts, and instruction based upon What's in the Bible © curriculum. We look to meet the needs of our youth in body, mind, and spirit. There are multiple volunteer opportunities, whether it be serving food, or helping with crafts and games.

Population(s) Served

Pathfinders is a one-on-one, academic mentoring program for those students that are struggling in any given area of study. We also offer an open table for those students who just need help with a little homework. Our goal is that every student that truly wants to better themselves in school will have the opportunity to build a relationship with a mentor that will aid their academic success, and will hopefully build a lasting friendship. Many kids in the Black Hills are far behind in terms of reading level and comprehension. Outside of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the students, reading will be the core of our academic program. If we can teach a student to read it opens up the door for academic growth and a lifetime of opportunity.

Population(s) Served

We believe this unique program is powerful in attracting and keeping the attention of our youth and provides a healthy recreational outlet in place of traditional inner city avenues of engagement.

We have witnessed that participation provides youth with a sense of accomplishment, fostering growth and belief in themselves as capable contributors to their own future. Specific aspects of the program help produce marketable job and life skills that will allow them to break generational curses and cycles that hold back their families and community.

There are a multitude of opportunities to serve and connect with this ministry. It's difficult to explain in brevity, so here are the tenants of the program:
Think back to when you received your first bicycle as a kid… As we reflect, many of us might agree that a sense of adventure, freedom, and hope came with that bicycle.

The Motion Initiative is our bicycle ministry working to facilitate that sentiment through the gateway of cycling, to those who need it most. In this process we aim to promote personal achievement, responsibility, and life-giving alternatives to the pitfalls of growing up in a challenging context through the introduction of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom by practical means. The following are our core gateway activities, but they are not what we truly are about. They are connecting points used to help us achieve our primary objective of reaching urban youth by introducing them to a deeper connection with Jesus Christ:

The Bike Shop
The bike shop works as a hub of operations for the ministry. We receive donated bicycles to refurbish and then resell at a fair price to the community. Providing both economical transportation and funds to continue ministry programs. Youth are invited to participate and learn how a business and workplace function by taking part in all aspects of the bike shop and TMI programs. The bike shop also acts as a safe place to hang out, build relationships, and have some fun equipped with a “hangout” area which is used for youth group, bible studies and meetings, watching movies, and playing video games.

Earn-a-Bike (Shop Credit)
Our earn-a-bike program rewards youth for the time they put into the bike shop and our programs (this includes the mobile shop). Youth earn “Shop Credit” that they can then spend on a new bike, parts, or accessories. In turn, we have created a mini economy which helps the youth to dream, set goals, learn proper work ethic and workplace conduct, how to manage their finances, and much more. The youth that work in the program are held to high standards just as in the workplace. We have previously provided the opportunity of a paid summer Intern position and hope to continue in the future.

Bicycle Repair (Mechanics)
One of the main jobs in our bike shop is fixing up bicycles. Youth are taught a viable job skill and life skill in the maintenance and repair of bicycles, by qualified volunteer mechanics. These skills can be used to provide and maintain personal transportation as well as an ability to secure a legitimate job opportunity in the future. Most mechanic skills are taught in a one on one, hands on context. We offer group mechanic “seminars” to train both youth and volunteers how to repair and maintain their own bicycle.

Bicycle Rides and Trips
We maintain a fleet of both Mountain and Road bikes, helmets, gloves, water bottles, glasses, and all the equipment needed to host a bicycle ride or trip. We periodically host trips and bring kids to local trails and paths for good clean outdoor fun and exercise on a bicycle. All of our trips are hosted by Christ centered mentors and volunteers, so it proves to be a wonderful opportunity to further build relationships with the youth.

Mobile Bike Shop and Trailer
Last but not least, we have our bicycle trailer. The trailer is outfitted to carry up to 12 bicycles and all the equipment needed for a trip and is towed by our ministry van “Big Blue” which can carry up to 12 passengers. The trailer is also unique in that it is set up to carry bicycle parts and our portable tool boards so that we can visit off-site locations, where we go to help kids get their bicycles back on the road for summer. This is a great outreach mechanism and provides a way for the kids to give back and serve their own community.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Financials

United in Christ Ministries
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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United in Christ Ministries

Board of directors
as of 03/28/2017
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

BRAD SPOONER

ODL


Board co-chair

CHAD STOIKE

ALC

Jeremiah Moran

Grand Rapids First Church

MICHELLE CAMERON

Kent County

Julie Braun

River of God Church

Harvey Dumond

Extol Inc.

Caleb Gonzalez

Philip Holmes

Hillcrest Community Church