Happy New Year!!!
God is good and His mercy shall endure forever and ever! We are extremely excited about what’s in store for 2017. Don’t forgot to visit this site regularly for updates and calendar events. Stay tuned for some new and exciting programs and opportunities to serve right here in your community. May your new year be blessed and full of hope and prosperity!!!
On Tuesday, September 27, 2016, there will be a memorial service to honor the life of Brice Jackson. Brice was a young man who lived here in the Black Hills neighborhood whose life was tragically cut short on September 14th around 10:30pm in an alleyway near his home. Brice was 27.
Rather than focus on the senseless act of violence that ended his young and promising life, United In Christ Ministries (UICM), the Black Hills Neighborhood Association, Hillcrest Community Church, The Edge Urban Fellowship, and the family & friends of Brice Jackson would like to honor a man whose ambition, smile, laughter, and sense of style & flash will long be missed by his family, friends, and community.
The “Light Up the Darkness” Memorial Service will take place on the grounds of Hillcrest Community Church, located at 850 Norwich Avenue, S.W. ▪ Grand Rapids, MI 49503. The memorial service is scheduled to begin at 7:00pm. Members of the news media and the general public are welcome and encouraged to attend. There will be music, candlelight, and an opportunity for those who were touched by Brice’s life to share their experiences and love for him and our neighborhood.
For those wishing to honor Brice by helping his family with funeral expenses, donations can be made online at www.gofundme.com/BriceJackson. Any financial contributions that can assist the family during this difficult time will not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
We know words alone will not stop weapons; statements will not contain hatred; and prayerful reflections—though powerful—are not enough to completely end violence. Yet, we remain confident that this is the best way to start. Person by person, family by family, neighborhood by neighborhood, we must take our communities back from the evil, fear, and hurt that comes with a culture of violence that leaves loved ones dead on our streets, families afraid in their homes, and others numb to human loss and suffering. We believe our faith in Jesus Christ gives us the values, vision, and HOPE that can bring an important measure of peace to our hearts, our homes, and our streets. We also believe in our ability to bring people together—even under the worst of circumstances—to work for lasting change.
Thank YOU & God Bless!!!
Brice Carrington Jackson left this Earth way too soon for any of us to ever understand, but God always has a purpose and we believe that Brice is still fulfilling his. Brice was a young man who lived here in the Black Hills neighborhood whose life was tragically cut short on September 14th in an alleyway near his home. Brice was 27. He was one of ours—a young man who grew up in our streets and in our Ministry. Rather than focus on the senseless act of violence that ended his young and promising life, we’d like to tell you of a man whose ambition, smile, laughter, and sense of style & flash will long be missed by his family, friends, and community.
For those of us who know him best, Brice was someone who was just so genuinely real. Behind his warm smile was a man so passionate, so charismatic, so brave, and so sensitive. He was a man who allowed us to see and experience the freedom and beauty that comes from living a life with your heart exposed to the world. In an often unreal and fake world, Brice was the real deal. He was the type of guy who would stand up for what he believed in and for those he loved. He will forever be remembered as a man who valued God, family, and friendships above all things.
For many of us, Brice was the quintessential “sharp-dressed man” who always had an idea, a thought, or a developed plan. Though not always a saint, Brice always made an effort to do right by people. He was a tour de force who possessed such amazing energy, potential, and light right up till his passing. In a world that could so easily give up on him—and often did—Brice never lost his resolve to live his life to the fullest. The abundantly rich stories of his life are both entertaining and uplifting lore but—more importantly—serve as a reminder for all those he leaves behind to never stop imagining, learning, and pursuing the passions in your heart.
In honoring Brice, let us carry his smile in our hearts and give it to those whom we meet along our journey. Let us also remember that Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I’ll miss you until we meet again.
Born in Illinois, it is the wish of Brice’s mother, Cookie, that her son be returned home to be buried alongside his sister. Immediate funds are needed to help make that happen. Respectfully, the family is requesting the following funds so that a grieving mother can lay to rest her only son:
- Funeral Service, Transfer & Casket: $4500
- Burial & Vault: $5500
- Grave Marker: $1000
- GoFundMe Cost: $1000
- Grand Total Requested: $12,000
Thank you so much for your compassion and understanding. Any financial contributions that can assist the family with funeral expenses will not go unnoticed, or unappreciated. Again, we cannot thank you enough for your outpouring of love, support, and kindness. God Bless!!!
“I am only one…I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support of United in Christ Ministries (UICM). Your committed hearts to serve our youth over the years has enabled us the privilege to minister to the lost, and to share the redemptive love of Jesus Christ with those less fortunate.
I am proud and truly humbled to announce that I, Troy Williams, am the new Executive Director of UICM. I am extremely excited by what God is doing—even more so about the future of His ministry. We are so grateful to my predecessor, Allen Pontarelli, for his dedication and obedience in making this ministry what it is today. I visualize his “ceiling” as our “floor” and consider it an honor to serve alongside you as we aim for new heights. Whatever challenges, struggles, tensions, and trials we may face in the days ahead, let us step in and face them together. Today is a brand new day…So let us look forward to new beginnings, new miracles, new mercies, new opportunities, and a renewed hope for a better tomorrow.
Born and raised in Battle Creek, Michigan, I am a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University (GVSU) with a Bachelor of Science and Arts (BSA) degree from the school of Public and Nonprofit Administration. Raised most of my life in a Christian household by a single mother, I can speak—with confidence—to the impact that a mentor can have on a young person’s life. Early on, as a two-sport student athlete, I knew I was blessed with a gift to guide and mentor youth. This gift granted me opportunities to serve as a parks and rec (volunteer) referee and coach for six of my teenage years. I gratefully accepted a full football scholarship from GVSU and had the amazing opportunity to experience teamwork at its highest level, winning back-to-back national championships. A career ending knee injury was to follow and served as a true test of character and faith that left me questioning God…now what?! Although youth ministry was never a part of MY plan, I was led to serve as a youth leader with Grand Rapids First Assembly’s “Vertical” youth ministry in 2012. Along with my personal submission, the Lord eventually revealed his plan for my life through my GVSU-approved internship with The Motion Initiative (TMI). The rest is, for the sake of time, history.
My First Ministry
God has shown his favor on me by blessing me with a beautiful wife (Suellen) and three vibrant children ages 10 (Troy Jr.), 8 (Xavier), and 6 (Mia). Understanding the commitment and dedication required of an Executive Director, my family remains in full support of all things revealed and unforeseen. After a period away from the “Church”, Suellen and I rededicated our lives to Christ (November of 2012) and were both baptized in water, and thereafter, the Holy Spirit. Our mission was made clear—to raise our children up as His, and to seek out God’s purpose for their lives. What an amazing opportunity to allow God to reveal his burden for the ones He has created in this city. Initially overwhelmed, it was made clear that our mission was to be aligned with God’s.
I am truly humbled to have been seemingly “catapulted” into a position of such opportunity, to intentionally pour my heart out, and to reach those who so desperately yearn for Jesus. As we call for generational chains and strongholds to be broken, my prayer for UICM is to have greater impact on our community through our programming, outreach, and mentoring relationships. God is on the move and I am truly looking forward to new beginnings!
Many Blessings to You ALL,
Executive Director, United In Christ Ministries (UICM)
Please join us for a most “egg-cellent” evening at the UICM Community Center (1035 Godfrey Avenue, S.W.) this Wednesday (September 7th) at 6:00 p.m. to dedicate our newly renovated kitchen and to recognize ALL those who so generously contributed to the project. WE look forward to seeing YOU soon. God Bless!!!