Epiphany Church: “It’s Good in the Hood!”

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WILMINGTON, De. — Members of Epiphany Church, Wilmington, are excited. They’re seeing people confess Christ as savior, visitors at the church, and opportunities in their neighborhood to share the good news!

Though a new Christian Jeniya Tarvin prays with people at the “Good in the Hood” festival and one woman accepted Jesus as savior. (Photo courtesy of Epiphany Church)

A lot happened last fall. Several men and women were together for a small group book study on prayer. “The topic for the night was praying for unbelievers,” said Derrick Parks, who planted Epiphany Church in 2017. “There was a young lady named Jeniya (Tarvin) who was visiting our church for a few months and was in attendance at the meeting. By the end of the lesson, we went around the room to ask people for specific names of unbelievers in their lives that they wanted us to pray for. When we got to Jeniya, she said her name. We were all surprised because we thought she was a Christian, but she was not. So we prayed for her on the spot, and she received Christ as her savior and was baptized several weeks later.”

A few months later, the church had its annual “Good in the Hood” Fall Festival in downtown Wilmington. The church has the event each year, but with assistance from the North American Mission Board and the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, they were able to greatly expand the festival, providing hundreds of turkeys for Thanksgiving in addition to a live band, emergency vehicle static displays, moon bounces, food, children’s activities and much more.  

“It was great, we had over 300 people. We had gospel presentations and a prayer table,” Parks said. One of the very best highlights was when Jeniya, as a new Christian, was serving at the prayer table. “She was praying for people as they came up to the table, and during that time, she led a young woman to Christ.”

Parks and the whole church were thrilled to see the salvation and God working through Jeniya. “It’s a really exciting thing for our church. We’re still celebrating and talking about it.” Others visited from the festival. “We’re seeing a lot of new young families,” Parks said.

The church is now raring to go out and further engage their community. Parks said they‘ve decided to have the “Good in the Hood” festival in spring and the fall.

Dr. Timothy Welbeck performs at the “Good in the Hood” event. In addition to a rapper, Wellbeck is the Director of Anti-Racism Research and an Assistant Professor of Instruction at Temple University and a Civil Rights Attorney. (Photo provided by Epiphany Church)

Other planned outreaches include a summit near election time to help people think more clearly about politics. Parks emphasized they’re not trying to encourage votes in one direction or another but rather help people think through their decisions. The church is also working on a seminar to help people read the Bible. Parks said literacy is an issue in some areas — especially biblical literacy. “We want people to know how to read the Bible,” he said

The church is also planning to host a marriage event, working with another evangelical church in the community.

Church membership is nearly 100 and Parks is looking forward to the year ahead to see how God will move.

Feature photo: The church has a group prayer huddle before the “Good in the Hood” event. (Photo courtesy of Epiphany Church)