ISLANDVIEW, DETROIT (WJBK) - A group of people, some with a questionable past, are making a new future led by a man who believes in them and in his city.
"I'm one person who's really trying to make a difference," said Barry Randolph, pastor of the Church of the Messiah in the Islandview area of Detroit.
The former business owner dedicated his life back to God and to his community in 2002. Since then, businesses have been born.
"We use the commercial kitchen," he said. "We have a computer lab, a maker's space, so we use those things to help empower young people. Then we made a lot of community connections with the local businesses and with the government, so we did pretty good at bringing resources directly to the church."
Their kitchen helped create a viable tea business, Nikki's Ginger Tea, that now has its own location and is carried in many stores around Metro Detroit. The church also started a management company overseeing more than 400 residents living in the multiple new and redone buildings the church owns.
There's even more business being run in the basement, including a printing press and a bike shop, where they teach people how to fix their own bikes.
Sixty members of the church's marching band are heading to college on scholarship.The computer lab and office space is home to a few LLCs and nonprofit companies. Two former felons also work with leather, teaching others the craft that helped them maintain once they were released from prison.
Randolph called what's happening at the church a "movement."
It was all created by this man who doesn't dress, act or preach like a traditional preacher - a man that simply believes that changing his city and his community is his responsibility.
"We should be doing a better job of changing our neighborhoods, communities, families, our school systems," Randolph said. "All of this can come from the people God, so we have to stand up."