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Detroit's 'Good News Gang' Reaching Children in Some of the City's Toughest Neighborhoods

Detroit's 'Good News Gang' Reaching Children in Some of the City's Toughest Neighborhoods Read Transcript

- Revitalizing a major metroarea like Detroit takes time.

While you will seebeautiful remodeled homes

in some neighborhoods,

others only offer dilapidated buildings,

piles of trash,

and empty streets.

Still recovering from its 2013 bankruptcy,

this city built for nearlytwo million residents

now has less than 700,000.

In the Motown areas showing signs of life

you'll likely find this man

as a literal driving force.

Pastor Matt Cripps of Metro Life Church

wants these pockets of lifeto grow in the right way.

That's why he and his team of bus drivers

head to inner city neighborhoods known for

drugs, violence, and gangs

to show kids a different way of life.

At Metro Life Church they call their fleet

of 10 buses soul winning machines.

They travel throughout the Detroit area

picking up children to be apart of the Good News Gang.

- Good morning!

What's up John?

What's up young lady?

How are you?

What's up sweet lady?

You can't smile?

There you go.

- [Mark] It often takes a little prodding

to get kids out and on the bus

especially on a cool,rainy, Saturday morning.

(horn honking)

But to this pastor and his volunteers

it's definitely worth it.

- We wanna see their livesradically transformed

by the power of thegospel of Jesus Christ.

And throughout the week we'reknocking on their doors.

We're praying with their families.

We're inviting 'em to Good News Gang.

And most importantly we'reestablishing relationships.

That's the most important thing.

Is that they see Jesus in us.

Because for most of these children,

we're the only Jesusthey'll ever, ever know.

- [Mark] CBN News spoke with parents

at a couple of the bus stops.

Elsie Wilson's children have been part

of the Good News Gang for five years.

- Pastor Matt have a nice wayof working with the children.

I mean I had a great experience when I was

with Pastor Matt.

So I just feel like it's afun and a good experience

to get the children out on Saturdays

and away from all ofthe violence and crime

that's in the neighborhood.

- [Mark] At first Edwardand Charlene Martin

took a little flack for taking part.

- When I first met Pastor Matt,

lady down the street was like

you let your kids goon a bus with that man.

You know that's a white man right?

I said that don't haveanything to do with it.

He's a godly man.

That's what I look at.

I look at the godliness.

I don't care about what color you are.

That don't have anythingto do with church,

Christ, and Jesus

because we're all thesame in the eyes of God.

- Back at the church thekids file into a huge room

with prizes and fun activitieslike a dance contest.

Good News Gang averagesmore than 200 children

each weekend.

While they enjoy the fun and games,

the main focus is sharing the gospel.

On this day they showed a superbook video

on the tower of Babelin the day of Pentacost.

Afterwards CBN FieldMinistry Rep Ken Schad

who is also a children's pastor

led the kids in a salvation prayer

to receive Jesus as their savior.

- If you really believe what you just said

you're ready for resurrection power.

And I want you to repeat after me.


- [Children] Jesus

- [Ken] Give me resurrection power

- [Children] Give me resurrection power

- [Mark] Following the prayer time

Pastor Matt talked about the importance

of getting good grades in school.

- How did you get to goto the A and B party?

- From getting As andBs on my report card.

- Then they finished up witha prize giveaway and pizza.

Children ages four to 12 takepart in the Good News Gang

every Saturday.

Pastor Matt has been leading the ministry

for nearly 20 years.

- I just want everyone toknow that we love Jesus.

That's our motivation.

Is to share the love ofJesus to the city of Detroit

a city that's labeled as hopeless

and everyone is written off.

But we know God has notwritten these people off.

He has a plan and apurpose for their lives

and he uses his church to bring that hope

to these people to these families.

- I think all of myfriends and any other kids

that see this should come here.

It's fun.

You'll have a good time.

You'll learn about the Lord.

And all together it's just really fun.

- And my favorite thingabout Good News Gang

is worshiping God and learninggreat things about him.

- [Mark] Pastor Mattsays they have a saying

that they want the kidsto experience heaven

at Good News Gang.

Heaven away from tough situations at home.

- Many of them come fromhomes that are filled

with despair and hopelessness.

But we know that throughJesus Christ there is hope.

And everyone say amen.

- [Children] Amen.

- [Mark] Mark Martin CBN News Detroit.

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