Good Place Akron

Prayer Downtown:
A Good Place is Prayed For

By: Katie Sobiech

In the heart of downtown Akron lies the busy, bustling, Cascade Plaza. In the midst of all of the commotion you can find a businessman hurrying into work, a homeless man begging for some change, and a gang member waiting for a bus– all on one street. It is there that all classes, races and religions meet.

And it was there, in the melting pot of the city, where Jonathan Greer felt a strong call from God to begin a ministry. Inspired by National Day of Prayer

Inspired by National Day of Prayer

It all began one spring, the first Thursday of the month of May, during the National Day of Prayer in 2007. Every year church members meet at the courthouse steps in Cascade Plaza, set up prayer tents, and read the Bible aloud from cover to cover. Greer happened to notice it and stopped by to pray. “While praying, I could hear God say, ‘I’m bigger than this tent,’ so from that day on we started coming down here and God’s been increasing our ministry,” he said.

Greer, along with his mother, Pastor Eula Baker, father, Virgil and other members of the congregation have made it their mission to reach out to the lost on the city streets ever since.

They go wherever the Holy Spirit leads, Greer, battling a cold explained. They preach the gospel, sing, offer prayer, pass out literature, and talk with the people, listening to their needs. Until recently, they had been ministering from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. everyday, Monday through Friday. That changed though, due to the cold weather.

“The Lord layed it on my heart that we were gonna start having service down here,” he explained, “and I saw in a vision, men and women just layed out before the Lord, in repentance, and just seeking God – just crying out to Jesus.”

Cascade Plaza as Church

Walking through the Plaza, Greer explained the different areas, and their functions. Pointing to a fountain, he said “This is our baptismal pool.” The picnic tables are pews, and there is a large area for people to lay out blankets, as they listen to the message. “If God sends you out there with a vision, the provision is in the vision; He always has everything available that you need.”

Without intimidation Greer approaches complete strangers, engages in conversation and offers to pray for them. People passing by often recognize him and stop by to talk.

Meeting People One on One

Many hearts have been changed, people have been saved, and prayers have been answered because of this ministry. One woman, Sister Josephine, would always get off of the bus at five a.m., and while waiting for the next bus to arrive she would listen to the Word being preached. One day she asked for prayer for her brother who was in a coma, and who doctors said would never walk or talk again. Greer and some others prayed with her about the situation, and one week later she came back and told them that her brother was out of the coma, walking and talking. “That’s the power of the Holy Spirit,” Greer smiled.

Greer’s vision for the future is to raise an awareness and start a revolution so that young people can know Christ, and see that it doesn’t take away from them, but adds to them. His desire is to continue to make disciples of the nations.

“We need help to bring this gospel to people; it’s a life changing gospel. It’s the life changing good news that people need. Everybody wants their life changed, from the lawyer that’s up at the top floor, the penthouse, to the banker, you know, everybody needs a filling.”

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