HSU Urban Promise

Urban Promise founder challenges HSU students

ABILENE—Bruce Main, founder of a global ministry to inner-city children and young adults, challenged Hardin-Simmons University students to consider, “If God is a God of justice, what is he doing about the injustice in the world?”

hsu main professors425While on the Hardin-Simmons University campus, Bruce Main, founding president of Urban Promise, spoke in classes taught by Joanne Roberts, head of the sociology department, and Melissa Milliorn, head of the social work department. (PHOTO/Hardin-Simmons University)Speaking in chapel, Main, president of Urban Promise, addressed the question by raising another query first asked by Gary Haugen, founder of International Justice Mission: “What’s God’s plan to make it believable to the world that God is good?”

“You are the plan. There is no other plan,” he responded.

Main started of Urban Promise in 1988 in the basement of an East Camden, N.J., Baptist church, born out of a community’s need to address the problems of intergenerational poverty and the incarceration of youth. The organization’s influence has spread to cities across the United States, Canada, South America and Africa.

The relationship between Hardin-Simmons University and Urban Promise began several years ago after Joanne Roberts, head of the HSU sociology department, showed her urban sociology students a documentary about Camden, N.J.

Subsequently, Roberts and Melissa Milliorn, head of the university’s social work department, created a May-term course to teach students about Christian community renewal. The course included a weeklong trip to Camden for the students and faculty to work with Urban Promise.

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