Faith Journey UMC’s Mission Central Campus opens
In April 2016, Mike Jordan, the chairperson of Crossroad District’s Faith Journey UMC’ s trustees, convinced members of his church that it was possible to transform a dilapidated, closed-down veterinary building into a beautiful space to be the new home for their Cradle & Beyond thrift shop that had been part of St. Andrew’s UMC until the church closed. And that this could also be a place for mission outreach as well as fellowship and worship.
Once permits were granted and the architect work was completed in September of 2017, members of Faith Journey UMC began the journey of fixing up the building–a journey that involved thousands of hours of labor and tens of thousands of dollars in donations. Walls, ceilings, and floors had to be knocked down and rebuilt. Asbestos had to be removed. Electrical, heating, and plumbing had to be installed, and so much more.
Mike said, “Often I had to come on a Friday night and de-ice the floor for us to be able to come in the next morning to work.”
Pastor Daniel Bradley was appointed to Faith Journey UMC on July 1, 2018, right in the middle of this massive project. He said, “When I arrived, there were no walls or floors and there weren’t even ducts for heating.”
Mike Jordan’s vision became a reality. On Friday Nov. 8, 2019, Faith Journey UMC held a celebration of the opening of this once dilapidated building into a beautiful, bright community center that they call their Mission Central Campus.
Located at 7778 Brewerton Road (near Bear Road) in Cicero, NY, Mission Central is a gorgeous building housing Cradle & Beyond with bright lighting and beautiful window fixtures, letting nice, natural light into the space.
Mike explained, “Everything in this project was accomplished by volunteers. The only work not done by volunteers was asbestos removal, plumbing, and creating the paved parking lot.”
The space allotted to Cradle & Beyond looks more like a high-end retail space—a lot nicer than typical thrift shops. The lighting of the space was a conscious decision as was the decision of what items they accept.
Judy Bylsma, the chairperson of Cradle & Beyond, said, “We chose a white floor and a lot of windows to make it very welcoming and bright.”
Cradle & Beyond is open to the public on Tuesdays from 4-7 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The shop has all articles of clothing for women, men, and children. The shop also has household items like dishes, small appliances (like toasters), like-new linens, etc. They have a boutique section where items are up to $4.00.
Cradle &Beyond accepts donations on Tuesday mornings from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. All items must be new or gently used. Furniture and large appliances are not accepted.
Speaking of the whole Mission Central Campus, Judy said, “Here, it’s more than just Cradle & Beyond. It’s going to be a mission center; we’re going to have all kinds of activities to help the community. We can have functions right in this room (the Cradle & Beyond space) because everything is on rollers This is just an amazing place.”
Still in the construction phase, Faith Journey’s Mission Central Campus will have a chapel for people in the community to worship. Sewing classes will soon be offered to the community as well.
Pastor Bradley compared the transformation of this building to the story of Ezekiel prophesizing to bones, building tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Speaking to those attending the celebration, he said, “This building has taken on flesh because of each one of you.”
Pastor Bradley is proud of his congregation and excited about the opportunities that their Mission Central Campus will offer. He said, “It will be a launching point for ministry in this community…It is an absolute miracle what has taken place here. Every time we ring up the register, every time we greet somebody at the door, we are building relationships…This is where faith and life intersect.”