[Hpn] Homeless in Franklin NH from the Senior pastors view !

William Tinker wtinker@fcgnetworks.net
Fri, 15 Sep 2000 07:27:04 -0400


TO HOMELESS GROUPS HOUSING ADVOCATES AND DISENCHANTED ALL OVER THE
WORLD!THESE ARE THE WORDS OF A MUCH GREATER MAN THAN I!PLEASE READ!

A Brother In The Homeless Struggle

Bill Tinker /founder of NHHomeless

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 Dear Bill:
         Does it really matter who gets credit?  We are, at best, servants
of
 God.  Let us be satisfied to give Him the credit for anything good that
 happens.  We can take responsibility for the mistakes and failures and,
yes,
 sins.

         I am sending you a copy of a letter we are sending out.  It is a
 summary of what has happened with New Covenant Fellowship and the condemned
 buildings.  It's pretty concise and may be a way to bring people up to
speed
 with accuracy and ease.  So if you want to pass it on to your friends, do
 so.


 Blessings,
                                                         Bob Mears

 robertmears@fcgnetworks.net

 NEW COVENANT FELLOWSHIP
P.O. BOX 252
FRANKLIN, N.H. 03235-9999

 September 2000


 To our brothers and sisters in the kingdom of God and of His Messiah:

  It may sound crazy, but we believe God has given the City of Franklin, New
 Hampshire into our hands.  We have hardly more than placed our foot on the
 land, but our little storefront church has become a key issue in the city,
 made headlines in the State and raised eyebrows around New England.  And
now
 God has given us an opportunity to establish an outreach to the poor and to
 the youth that we believe will change the character of this former
mill-town
 and open the way for a revival in the Lakes Region that will impact New
 Hampshire, New England and beyond.

 Franklin has been a rock-filled field that has resisted the seeds of the
 gospel for generations. It has been called a graveyard for evangelical
 preachers.  We knew from experience that Franklin would not be easy, that
 whatever spiritual forces controlled this city, they were deeply entrenched
 and stubborn.  But if it is a citadel of Satan, we believe the Lord has
 shown us that His time has come for Franklin, and that this city is, in
 fact, the key to revival in the Lakes Region and beyond.

 God has assembled a ministry team with a lot of experience here.  First, he
 called Dennis Murphree.  Dennis ministered in Franklin for years, then left
 the area and built a successful business in Washington State.  He then
 returned to Arkansas, his home state, where he was renewed in the Spirit.
 God called Dennis back to Franklin where he started to build a church.
Karl
 Kuehn grew up in the Lakes Region but moved to Indiana to prepare for
 ministry.  God called Karl and his family and another ministerial student,
 Brent Pasley, to New Hampshire to help Dennis in Franklin. Bob Mears, who
 had been a Pastor in Franklin in the late sixties, early seventies and
again
 in the eighties, was also called back to Franklin to work with Dennis.

  Last winter God told us to move our meeting place from a remodeled mill to
 the worst street in town, Franklin Street, in the decaying inner city.  We
 began interceding for the City of Franklin.  We met before daybreak on
 Tuesdays and at other times we walked the streets praying for the
residents;
 sometimes we drove around the city interceding. In March the mayor asked
the
 churches to help promote a spiritual revitalization of the city.  We took
 that as God's sign to us that the gate of Franklin was open to us and the
 city was ripe for a spiritual awakening.

  Dennis had studied the history of Franklin and God had showed him the
 principality that has held Franklin in its grip.  It is a principality of
 greed and hardness of heart toward the poor.  In the nineteenth century the
 City of Franklin relocated the poor to a farm outside the city in what
might
 be called in our times a concentration camp.  Another principality we
 uncovered from Franklin's history was a spirit of infidelity. In the 1800s,
 to encourage industry in the city, the authorities of Franklin promised
 industrial firms ten years of tax-free operation.  After seven years the
 city went back on its promise, provoking lawsuits and retarding the
 industrial growth of the city.

  The strategy God gave to New Covenant Fellowship in addition to praying
for
 the city was to show kindness to the poor who live here and be careful to
 keep our promises. What the Lord has done has astonished us.

  On the opposite side of Franklin Street from the storefront where our
 church meets were three run-down apartment houses.  We began praying for
 them and the people who lived there.  Some were blue-collar workers, some
 were on welfare; there were children with learning disabilities and adults
 with addictions and mental problems.  Sometimes there were fights among the
 residents and their friends who hung out on the street in front of the
 buildings.  There was always trash.

 We wanted to help.  Providentially, we met the owner, Morgan Kraus, a young
 minister from Long Island, New York, who supported his ministry by his
 business interests.  He hired Karl Kuehn to manage the apartments and Karl
 worked hard to keep the apartments in good repair and to keep the grounds
 clean.

  Soon we heard that the City was planning to take the buildings by eminent
 domain, destroy them and put a parking lot in their place.  The city had no
 plans to replace the buildings - 16 apartment units - and that meant that
 many of the people would be forced to relocate, for there is a shortage of
 affordable housing in Franklin.

 Dennis understood in the Spirit that the act of the city to destroy the
 apartments of the poor was the work of the same principality that had
 operated in Franklin's past - hardness of heart toward the poor.  As in the
 past, its policy is to pursue prosperity by getting rid of the poor.  That
 principality continues to hold the city in its grip.

 We knew we had to resist it.

 A day or two before the city was scheduled to take possession of the
 buildings, we bought them from Morgan Kraus.  We hoped to keep them
standing
 for housing for the poor.  With Morgan's help, we worked very hard in a
 short period of time to make repairs and renovations - a step of faith.  We
 believe Jesus wants those buildings for housing for the poor.  We believe
 that with prayer and local management the buildings can be kept neat, clean
 and serviceable.  And we have calculated that with the revenues from rent,
 we can finance an effective outreach to the community.

  Of course, we clashed with the city government that wants the buildings
 destroyed and the people removed to other communities where they will
become
 someone else's problem and expense.   The struggle between our little
church
 and city hall has been a source of newspaper stories in the Lakes Region,
 New Hampshire and beyond all summer long.

 We have announced our intention to challenge the city in court on the
 eminent domain seizure. If we prevail in the legal dispute with the city,
we
 can move ahead.  The demand for affordable rental units is high.  Well
 managed, the apartments should provide enough to pay all expenses and
 purchase a multi-purpose building we need for outreach.  There is a chance
 that we can fight city hall and win.

 The city has committed fraud in the act of seizing the buildings.  And it
is
 on the wrong side of a controversy with God.  We can win if we can prove
 fraud, and we can win if the settlement mandated by the court is too high.
 Franklin is not a wealthy city.  The court might decide on a fair
 compensation price for the properties that is too costly for the city
 budget.  In that case, the city might restore the buildings to us.  But as
 things stand now, the city has taken the apartments and has announced its
 intention to move ahead with plans to raze them and build a parking lot.
We
 will appeal the taking in the courts, but the litigation could go on for
 months.  And we sense that there isn't a lot of time to act.  We have an
 opportunity today that we need to take today.

 Our plans to reach the community include the purchase a multi-purpose
 building nearby.  It is already outfitted for a soup kitchen for the poor,
a
 recreational facility for young people, and a large meeting hall. There
isn' t
 much for young people to do in Franklin. Karl Kuehn and Brent Pasley have
 begun to establish a relationship with some young people in the community.
 With this facility, we could provide wholesome recreation for the youth.
It
 would give us a context in which to present the gospel to the young people.
 We think we know how to reach the youth with the word of God in a way that
 will make sense to them.  And the poor of Franklin have come to understand
 that we are speaking out and acting on their behalf.  A momentum has
started
 in Franklin and we believe it is important to keep it going.  We are not
 afraid to step out in faith, but we can't do it alone.

 We believe the time has come to lay claim to Franklin, New Hampshire for
 Jesus and the kingdom of God. We are committed for the long haul.  An
 effectual door has begun to open to us and we intend to go through it.  We
 are asking God for help to make Franklin a caring community where the poor
 are welcome and are cared for.

 The Lord has been helping us in remarkable ways.  But we are a small
church,
 and can't do it by ourselves.  We believe God is calling others to help
 us -- maybe you are one of them.

 1. We need intercessors to pray.  We are working on establishing
 round-the-clock prayer.  If prayer is your calling, let us know the time
 when you can intercede for Franklin, and we will put you on the schedule
and
 keep you informed of needs to pray for.

 2. We need financial help.  Ours is a small church without significant
 material resources.  And ministry to the poor is costly.  We are trusting
 God to supply the needs of the ministry. If giving is your gift and
calling,
 Franklin is a good place to employ it.

 3. We need people to join us and work alongside of us in Franklin.  The
work
 is already beyond us.

 We believe that a spiritual earthquake has already begun in Franklin, and
 soon it will shake the Lakes Region, the State of New Hampshire and send
 tremors throughout New England.  We believe this is the end-time shaking
 spoken of it Scripture. When this shaking is finished, the only thing left
 standing will be God's kingdom.  It's the right time to invest in the
 kingdom of God, and Franklin, New Hampshire is a good place to start.

       Blessings,

       ________________
       Bob Mears
       For and with
       Dennis Murphree
       Karl Kuehn
       Brent Pasley