For Pastor Gabe Green, it's not a career, but a callingSome people try as hard as possible to keep their professional and personal lives from mixing. For Pastor Gabriel Green, it’s just the opposite.
By: Mackenzie Allison, for the News Tribune
Some people try as hard as possible to keep their professional and personal lives from mixing. For Pastor Gabriel Green, it’s just the opposite.
Green is the lead pastor at the Church of Restoration Twin Ports in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Duluth.
“Gabe Green is a pastor 24 hours a day, often taking calls at all hours of the night to provide emergency counseling,” said his wife, Heather. “Although he approaches his position as lead pastor as his full-time job, he does not take a salary from the church. The money coming into the church is allocated to church members in need and future goals, such as building funds and youth programs.”
Brought up in Dallas, Texas, Green founded the Church of Restoration Twin Ports in 2011. It’s now 150 members strong and growing, he says.
“I realized there was a lack of individuals going to church,” Green said. “I wanted to have a church that people would want to come and worship at.”
Or who would appreciate that church coming to them, Heather Green said.
“There are members from all different ethnicities and denominations,” she said. “[Gabriel] is not afraid to meet people where they are, even if that means going into hospitals, treatment centers, jails, or even on the streets.”
Things are not always done the traditional way at the Church of Restoration Twin Ports.
“We have Bible study movie nights to get more people to show up. At first, there were only about five people coming to Bible study, but now we have at least 20,” Green said. “We show movies on a big screen and have free popcorn. We show Christian movies with a message. They are stopped halfway through and we talk about the movie and expand on them. Some people learn better visually; I wanted to make it so people would want to come.”
Green is a professional drummer, vocalist and choir director as well as a pastor.
“Music is the driving force at the church. I think that the best way to worship is through music, no matter what denomination you are,” he said. “There is something for everyone. Music is a big part of my life; it kept me out of trouble and taught me discipline.”
He uses those gifts at community events, most recently the Men’s Health Dinner. Green also spoke at Un-Fair Campaign events and hosted the Martin Luther King movie night for the MLK week events.
Along with those events, he wrote a song called “Get Google” for the “Google Duluth” campaign, performed at GoogleFest. He also was in “Side Show,” a play that ran recently at Harbor City International School, and has been active in the preparations for a movie based on the Clayton, Jackson and McGhie lynchings to be filmed in the Duluth area.
And there are other programs he participates in aimed at improving the community and encouraging individuals.
“The Lincoln Park Improvement Project covers things from having food access through a grocery store to getting people off the street,” he said. “It involves communication with businesses and their owners. We want Lincoln Park to be a vibrant place to live again, like it once was.”
Green and the Church of Restoration are trying to buy the Boys & Girls Club’s old building at 2623 W. Second Street.
“The building is dead-center in the most poverty-stricken neighborhood in Duluth,” Green said. “By opening that building and making it a church and cultural center, we can take a lot of children off the streets, provide GED prep courses for young adults that did not finish school. We also want to provide acting classes, musical instrument classes, parenting classes and a host of things that the neighborhood can grow from. We are struggling financially as a new church, but we are doing everything we can to obtain this building. The overall goal of the Church of Restoration Cultural Center is to build a community one family at a time.”
Said his wife: “What separates Gabe Green from his peers are the lives that are changed by his giving and open heart. … He does not seek out recognition or money; he simply wants to make a difference. I admire his as an individual, an artist, a leader, a parent and a spouse.”
Get to know Gabe Green
What do you actually do? Pastor a congregation of 150 members at Church of Restoration Twin Ports.
Years in your job: 2
Education: Associate of applied science degree in legal administration and bachelor of arts degree in religious studies.
Family: Wife, Heather Green; daughters Heaven and Ja’Mya.
Community involvement: Working with Connecting the Dots organization, Food Access for Lincoln Park, Board Member for Minnesota Music Association, Youth Advocate for Lincoln Park.
What brought you to the Twin Ports?
What brought you to the Twin Ports area and how long have you lived here?
I moved here when I transferred with a job I had from Dallas, Texas. I have lived here for six years.
What do you like to do during your free time?
I play drums, teach voice and gospel music, act and watch movies.
Describe your favorite place in the Twin Ports area.
What do you like most about the Northland?
The people, and I like the challenge of building a church and a community around it.
How can the Northland retain younger people?
I strongly feel if we focus on jobs, affordable housing and transportation, people will have an incentive to want to stay here after finishing school.
Who or what has made the biggest impact on your life?
I strongly feel the people who have made the biggest impact on my life here in the Twin Ports are my wife and my old manager from the Social Security Administration, Edwin Evans.
What are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about my spirituality and bringing other people to Christ with the sharing of the Bible and worship.
How have social and business networking sites changed your life?
They are all wonderful tools that I use to communicate more effectively with individuals from my congregation as well as the community. Having the ability to reach a great number of people using these tools is a wonderful asset.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Starting and sustaining the Church of Restoration Twin Ports and witnessing all the people who come each Sunday to give their lives to Christ.
What goals have you set for the next 5-10 years?
To move our church to a more comfortable space so we can provide more programs for the community and grow the ministry even more with much-needed community resources.
What advice would you give other young people?
Take the first step and make your dream and vision happen. The support is here, all you have to do is just take the first step.
Comments: I’m humbled and blessed to be chosen for this award. There are so many other individuals who deserve this more than I do. Words can’t express my appreciation. God bless.