The Garden at Main Street
Easter Day, 2014, an article was published on the front page of the Muncie Star-Press Newspaper about Main Street United Methodist Church. It stated that the church was near closing because the average age was 82 years old and there were only 11 people who attended on Sunday mornings. Within the article, they asked people to come and visit their church before the doors closed. Reverend Vickie was given that article and was struck by the sadness of a church closing and pleading with people via the newspaper to come and save their church.
The Lord would not let the article out of Rev Vickie’s mind or spirit. God continued impressing upon her that something had to be done to save the church. However, she had no idea what should be done. So, she began driving to the church and sitting outside in her car; praying, reading the word, seeking the will of the Christ for His church. One day, she sensed Him urging her to go to the door of the church. She got out of her car, walked to the door of the church, and tried to enter. The door was locked. As she stepped away from the door she heard Him say, “You will open these door
She still had no clear direction on what to do to make that word from the Lord come true, but she began to explore what it would take to open those doors. As she had conversations with people in the Indiana Conference of the UMC, she began to see a path to make the Main Street UMC a sister church to the Garden at Gethsemane. She was directed to Pastor Robert Hunt, who was the then pastor of the church, and together they scheduled a walk-through of the church and its fellowship hall, (a building across the street from the church).
There was a small group of people who accompanied Rev Vickie on that tour. They began in the fellowship hall. Then they walked across to the main church building. As they entered the sanctuary of the building, in which people had worshipped for many decades, the sense of the power of the Holy Spirit fell upon those who were attending the tour. A worship service began among those who were there… and it became very apparent that the Holy Spirit was not done in that place, and that there was Kingdom work that still needed to be done there.
Since that day, many things have happened at the Main Street church. It did become a sister church to The Garden at Gethsemane, changing its name to The Garden at Main Street. Thanks to Pastor Robert Hunt, the older congregation who had been at Main Street remained as everything about their church and their worship changed. The church began outreaches to the homeless, addicts and other marginalized people in the downtown area.
Today, The Garden at Main Street has a thriving outreach ministry in an urban setting surrounded by street people and others on the fringe of society. Thanks be to God for the constant prayers and leadership of Pastor Robert Hunt, (for whom the fellowship hall is now named), and the vision of Reverend Vickie. Because of their hard work and courage many have met Christ, and been set free from addictions and idols that have ruled their lives.