If it takes a village to raise a child, it certainly takes a dedicated community to catalyze transformation in the name of Christ in a city. Our hope is that this glimpse at the work of a few of those on this catalytic team, and the insights that have been hard-won by them, might be of encouragement and some practical help to you and your team, as you seek the peace of your city. We certainly agree on a set of values, and a theory of change certainly plays a part. But these insights and stories emerge from practitioners. While we don’t offer this as a model, we do offer it as one example of a journey of transformation, one that is in fact fruitful, and one that we are joyfully on together.
Randy White – Randy White, D.Min, is the Executive Director of the Center for Community Transformation at Fresno Pacific University and Seminary. He also serves as an associate professor of Community Transformation at FPU and as an adjunct professor of Bakke Graduate University. Twenty-five years ago Randy moved his family from suburbia to an underserved Fresno, CA neighborhood experiencing concentrated poverty and high crime. Randy has worked tirelessly with other believers, faith-based organizations, private and public non-profits for lasting community transformation. While he candidly states, “There are no experts,” his continued teaching, writing, mentoring, and experience are making way for many to gain the necessary skill-sets and disciplines needed to bring true shalom to their own communities.
H Spees – For over 40 years, Dr. H Spees has worked with business, government, church, and community leaders to forge private sector and faith-based solutions to complex urban problems. H has started and run organizations that have delivered health care provided jobs and built communities. H has called Fresno home and has invested in the city for over 3 decades. In the 1990s he worked with Fresno business and community leaders to start a private development organization to tackle difficult projects in tough inner-city areas ranging from the rehab of historic homes to the development of a key city block downtown. H has further demonstrated his commitment to Fresno through his service on commissions and boards related to economic development and public safety. H is committed to the spiritual health of cities. He is an ordained minister serving as honorary Pastor-at-Large for First Presbyterian Church, Fresno. H was Congressional Appointee to the US Congressional Summit on Faith-based Initiatives. H is currently the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the City of Fresno and serves as an adjunct professor with Fresno Pacific University and Bakke Graduate University.