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Glen McCarthy is a hip-hop musician, community improvement manager for Chicago Public Schools, and pastoral associate who wants to challenge today’s world, where technology rules and hopelessness reigns, with “God’s way of doing things.”

Pastor Glen McCarthy of Restore All Ministries

With the help of Ministry Shares, Christian Reformed Home Missions has been able to back such efforts as McCarthy’s Restore All Ministries, a new church in the heart of Chicago’s south side.

Along with his wife and partner in the ministry, Briana, and their two children, McCarthy plans to use a variety of means to develop a church and church team whose ministry of restoration will proclaim the glory of God and impact the people of the community. “I believe Christ can restore this community with his Word,” he says.

One of the ways in which he and his wife plan to work is through gospel, soul, and contemporary music. Both of them are musicians.

McCarthy, who goes by the name “The Ghostwriter” as a hip-hop performer, was born on the south side of Chicago and comes from a family of pastors and church leaders. Growing up, he was greatly influenced by the urban youth culture around him. The raw, uncut self-expression of hip-hop was part of that.

“I want to minister through my music,” he says. “God can use hip-hop to reach young people.”

The new church is located for now in a space at its parent church—Loop Christian Ministries, the Chicago Christian Reformed congregation where McCarthy is a pastoral associate. He also works as the manager of family and community involvement for the Office of School Improvement at Chicago Public Schools.

McCarthy says he has been thinking about Restore All Ministries since 2003, when he heard the Holy Spirit speak to him during a time of devotions and prayer. “The Spirit spoke to me, saying, ‘I have given you a ministry of restoration,’” he recalls.

“Through salvation, I have a renewed understanding of purpose, which is to worship God, reflect his glory, and partner with him in his work . . . and to proclaim the Good News and make disciples.”

Having received his M.Div. degree from North Park Theological Seminary, McCarthy hopes to be ordained in the CRC this September.

His strategy, he says, is for the new church to develop an advisory council, take advantage of multimedia and social media tools for marketing, begin a weekly Bible study, and hold a monthly worship gathering.

He also wants to develop and train young urban leaders.

His job with the Chicago school system has already given him access to families in the community he grew up in. The job has also enhanced his understanding of the people and their needs and how to partner with them.

“God has called me to a ministry of restoration,” he says. God has also given him the kinds of gifts and community improvement experience that can help him and others, he says, to “develop a dynamic church that is involved in the life of its neighborhood.”

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