In early February, the GraceWay Church of the Brethren opened its doors to the Dundalk community.
Located at 2660 Yorkway in Dundalk, the church touts itself as a multi-cultural hub. On Feb. 5, the church’s opening day, seven nations were represented at the church — Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Congo, Nigeria, Cameroon and the United States.
Pastor Yakubu Bakfwash, originally from Nigeria, spent much of his life studying leadership and spirituality. Bakfwash has a master’s degree in Global Leadership and a ThM in Evangelism and Intercultural Studies and is a PhD candidate for a degree in Educational Studies and Leadership.
Bakfwash and his wife, Diana, moved to Dundalk in 2016, and the pastor has “spent the past few months in prayer” and trying to learn about Dundalk and what the community needs.
“We have noticed that drugs and recovery are a very big issue for your community,” Pastor Bakfwash said. “We want to help the community transform people. We need to have a transformed community with spiritual people.”
In an attempt to alleviate some of the stress caused on the community by drug rehabilitation, the church has opened its doors to a local narcotics rehab group who meets in their church every Monday and Thursday.
Pastor Bakfwash is also in the process of pairing with local schools to help children from other countries get comfortable in the United States.
“I have lived in many places and adjusted to all of them, so I want to help the children who speak other languages adjust to the culture and living in America,” the pastor explained. He hopes to help the children learn basic English as well as celebrating their cultures alongside American culture.
The church is currently organizing a Family Movie Night as an afterschool activity due to do their proximity to the elementary and middle schools.
The church also hopes to be able to open a daycare facility in the near future.
“The Church of the Brethren seeks to become a living peace church,” the religion’s website touts. “Christians are called by God to witness to the gospel of peace with such intensity that nations repent and history is changed. Less than a radical witness can only lead us to accept idols of materialism, blind nationalism, the glorification of military strength, dependence on technological solutions for human problems, and personal and national security at the expense of justice.”
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