March 28, 2014

Washington, D.C., Church Provides Wi-Fi to Neighborhood


Located some seven blocks from the nation’s capitol building, Allegheny East
’s Fourth Street Friendship church in Washington, D.C.,is in the center of
a fast-growing neighborhood. Realizing that the gentrifying community around
them didn’t need some of the outreach services that they traditionally offered,
like a soup kitchen, they decided to focus on technology. So they installed a
tower that gives their gentrifying community access to free Wi-Fi in
exchange for viewing messages about events at the church.

Already some 1,500 neighbors have logged on and become aware of
the church, causing Andrew Harewood, former senior pastor, to conclude,
“We have to think in terms of unique relevance. It used to be about soup and
sandwiches; now it’s about technology.”

Harewood noted that with a church located every three or four
blocks in the neighborhood, members needed to offer something that the other
churches were not offering. “Now we can go into their homes,” he said, adding
that he has gained many followers on his personal Twitter account because of
this service.

The church continues to operate a meal service for those who need
it. How is your church meeting a need in your community?