“We don’t come together for just the good Word, but for the good Work.” Oliver Richmond of Kingdom Partners in Chattanooga, Tennessee is dedicated to seeing the body of Christ come together as One Kingdom – One Church.
Richmond’s vision is to work with churches throughout the community to help build relationships and strategic partnerships that will bridge the cultural divide through mutual acts of service. He has invited pastors from black, white, and Hispanic churches to build cross-cultural relationships and serve the community, bringing reconciliation as barriers are broken down and the Gospel is shared. “The community is suffering. The church needs to be helping the hurting. We have to find a way to touch people and they have to see the value in the relationship.”
Richmond’s desire to serve people in his community started when he had just graduated college and began working at Merrill Lynch in Indiana as a financial planner. When he realized his own mother needed help with financial planning, he began to understand the deep need for the kind of help he could offer within urban communities.
His financial skills were a huge asset to his church in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, where members were well-discipled and had a heart for missions. That urban church started several non-profits to serve the community including a low income credit union, a day care center, and a place for homeless veterans.
When he moved to Chattanooga, Richmond prayed, asking God what He had for him in this new city. He felt God leading him to start Kingdom Partners, but he knew he needed people and resources to come alongside him in this new endeavor. “I prayed for the Lord to give me people who loved the Lord, loved families, and had the ability to execute plans.” God has been gracious as Oliver seeks to serve Him.
Kingdom Partners mission is to “serve as the prime facilitator and capacity building training institute and improve access to resources for church and faith-based organizations.” They provide strategic planning, financial review, discipleship, leadership training and coaching, and stewardship assistance. “Most of the churches we serve have a part time pastor, a part time assistant, a part time musician, a part time janitor. The pastors need support so they can do what God has called them to – teaching, preaching, and leading.” Kingdom Partners comes alongside the Senior Pastor, working to establish a strategic plan to help make the church more effective in its mission and vision
He believes that it is critical for church members to awaken their Kingdom potential by understanding the importance of giving their time, talent, and resources. When a church has a clear mission and vision, the people understand what the church is doing, and discipled members recognize their part in that – becoming intentionally more involved in ministry.
Richmond spends much of his time building relationships throughout the Chattanooga area. He believes there is a great need to transform our urban communities to bring unity across denominational and racial divisions. “When the church is strengthened, the community is transformed. When the community is transformed the city is impacted. When the city is impacted lives are changed for the Kingdom.”
“I believe the Lord is bringing the church together to make the body of Christ work together. We make it really complicated, but it’s really not complicated. We are all part of one Kingdom, one Church.”
To learn more about Kingdom Partners, contact Oliver Richmond at [email protected]