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Hobby Lobby Donates 14.5 Acres to Charles Jenkins Project to Build New Campus for Underserved in Chicago

Arts-and-crafts giant Hobby Lobby has partnered with Pastor Charles Jenkins, recording artist and leader of Fellowship Baptist Church in Chicago, to build a new “dynamic, multifaceted” campus for Jenkins’ Legacy Project. The Green family, owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of stores, bought and donated 14.5 acres of land at the intersection of 85th and Lafayette in Chicago for the campus building project.

The Legacy Project’s mission is to “serve the immediate community and the city in a holistic manner,” according to Fellowship Church’s website. The campus building plan includes an auditorium, a charter school, a community center, a retail/restaurant center and a health care center.

“As we looked at expanding (church), we didn’t just look within but we looked without,” explained Jenkins, according to the Christian Post. “As we talk about those who are returning home from prison, we looked at the desolation, the destitution, the healthcare disparities. We looked at the unemployment rate in the neighborhood where we serve, it’s almost 70 percent. And there’s so many challenges, and that’s when we started to look at the idea to not just share the Gospel, but show the Gospel in a broader more dynamic way.”

“Jesus wouldn’t just drop a big church right in the middle of this … and so we said legacy is what lives when you leave. So it’s gotta be something that’s bigger than all of us that will affect and impact the masses,” he added.

Jenkins said fellow pastor James MacDonald heard of the project and introduced him to the Green family. 

Hobby Lobby makes a practice of regularly and substantially supporting charities and Christian groups. It offers discounts to churches, schools and national charitable organizations. 

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Toni Ridgaway is a content editor for the Outreach Web Network, including churchleaders.com and SermonCentral.com.