Guest Blog: Rev. Cathi Feldpausch, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Ferndale

What a gift! Circuit Court Judge Denise Langford-Morris upheld the decision by the City of Ferndale Zoning Board opening the way for South Oakland Shelter to bring their administrative offices into First Baptist Church of Ferndale.

My congregation’s mission and outreach has always been to assist those within the area who are in need of a helping hand. We run a food and clothing pantry, mentor children and participate in the Oakland County Warming Shelter program. We believe that with SOS moving into a portion of our educational wing we will be able to partner with them to provide, not just a hand out to folks, but a hand up as well.

This has been a long process and one that has made many emotions run high. However, the bottom line for us is and always has been that SOS is an outstanding organization. They work with the disenfranchised and partner with 64 churches, temples and synagogues in the area. Each of these institutions lends their own vision of ministry to SOS’s clients by providing overnight housing and meals. Because of this, we feel strongly that this is a hand in glove partnership for us.

The City of Ferndale did indeed play by the rules and we are thankful that all their hard work paid off. I pray that those neighbors who oppose this move will, in time, come to realize that this partnership is not a threat but an opportunity.

So often the ACLU comes under fire, but I for one want to say how much we have appreciated their support. It has been wonderful to feel as though someone really understands that this is what the church universal is called to do – feed the hungry and cloth the naked-- and then is willing to stand with the church to see that justice is done.

What a Christmas gift this has been for me and for our church. Playing by the rules, keeping the faith and doing the best for the least of these still reigns in the wonderful City of Ferndale.

Rev. Cathi Feldpausch is the Pastor of First Baptist Church of Ferndale. Previously, she was the Assistant Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Birmingham, Mich for 10 years. Her husband, Dale, and their family live in the church parsonage next door to the church.