Crossroads and Pancho's Blanket from Abundant Life on Vimeo.
The Crossroads District in Kansas City, Missouri, is an eclectic art area north of the historic Union Station. With theaters, art shows, music venues, and favorite restaurants, those in the Kansas City area with an artisanal eye love to explore the galleries and exhibitions that reflect the unique and creative character of the city.
While the Crossroads District is a booming art enclave, it also has a growing homeless population. But God is moving in the Crossroads District of Kansas City! Connections are being made that have led to helping the homeless during a time of year they need it most.
Winters in Kansas City can be quite cold, so finding ways to stay warm is especially important for the homeless community. A God-orchestrated meeting in a church lobby sparked a partnership between Abundant Life and a local artisan and business owner that got out the message of Jesus and blessed the homeless with coats in the Crossroads District in Kansas City.
Artisans in the Crossroads District
The Crossroads name has been synonymous with art since the first gallery opened in 1985. Specialty gift and fashion shops, restaurants, and event spaces have been added to the district, creating an artsy urban community that brings local art vendors to one place in the heart of the city.
Abundant Life Crossroads Campus
Abundant Life is opening a new campus, Crossroads Campus, on Easter Sunday, April 9, in the Crossroads District in Kansas City to advance God’s kingdom in this distinguished part of the city. Our heart is to be living proof of God’s love. The love of Jesus changes people. It rejoices in truth and never fails. And this mission is reflected in the Crossroads Campus.
Through Abundant Life’s Crossroads Campus, we want to share the irresistible message of the gospel and help people discover authentic relationships and what God has to say about faith, finances, dating, mental health, and more.
Pastor Chad Glover
Pastor Chad Glover is the Abundant Life Crossroads Campus pastor. He has been in ministry for more than 15 years and, as a leatherworker, gets excited to hear about creations and designs by fellow artisans. His unique background and passion have combined to create partnerships with those in the Crossroad District of Kansas City even before Crossroads Campus opens.
Abundant Life Crossroads Campus and Poncho’s Blankets Partner Up
In mid-2021, Pastor Chad Glover was preaching at Paradigm (a weekly gathering for 20 to 30-somethings) and met Jonathan Garvey, co-founder of Pancho’s Blankets, in the church lobby after a service one Tuesday and began talking about their love for the arts.
Jonathan and Joseph Garvey, brothers and co-founders of Pancho’s Blankets, grew up in Mexico as missionary kids feeding and clothing those in need. Through their mission, they began designing sweaters, clothes, and blankets. The Garvey brothers had an idea to start a business selling artisanal products inspired by the sweaters and blankets they gave to those in need in Mexico.
Pastor Chad and Jonathan met and attended a First Friday event in the Crossroads District in Kansas City, setting up booths that featured the hand-knitted sweaters of Pancho’s Blankets and unique leatherwork by Glover Leather.
First Fridays in the Crossroads District
On the First Friday of every month, thousands of residents, visitors, and vendors fill the streets and sidewalks of the Crossroads District in Kansas City to sneak a peek at various creative arts, food, and more.
During one of the First Friday events, building owners approached Jonathan and offered to rent him space to sell his artisan blankets, bags, and coats.
Jonathan said, “They show us this space… and tell us that they will… basically facilitate everything that is needed, and it was a gift from God.”
He went on to say, “People from very different walks of life are the ones that God has given us favor with.” He wanted Pastor Chad and Abundant Life to be a part of the process, so he asked them to pray over the space and business before moving in and opening up.
Abundant Life and Poncho’s Blankets Partner Up to Give Coats to Homeless in Crossroads District
Jonathan told Pastor Chad he wanted to do something for the homeless. He wanted to do something in the name of Jesus. At Pancho’s Blankets' grand opening, every transaction provided warm sweaters for Kansas City’s homeless.
Debbie Pierson from Abundant Life faithfully visits the homeless at a park close to Union Station in the Crossroads District every Saturday to distribute hats, gloves, cleaning supplies, and more to those in the park.
With Debbie from Abundant Life leading the charge the Saturday morning after Pancho’s Blankets’ grand opening, the homeless in the community got hand-knitted sweaters in Jesus’ name.
Looking around that Saturday morning, you would have seen hundreds of Abundant Life congregants having spiritual conversations and praying with the homeless in the area.
Pastor Chad Glover said, “I love this because God has brought people to Abundant Life who are in the business sector trying to cultivate the kingdom of God through the community… and we just have to connect them. All we had to do is ask God, ‘What are you already doing in the Crossroads?’ God did what only He could do.”
God’s amazing work, taking a concept that started with a conversation in a church lobby, and forming connections in the community, isn’t done yet. It’s only begun.
When the Body of Christ believes in giving back and then asks for God to open doors so that they actually do it, meaningful conversations are had, connections are made, and lives are changed by Jesus.
Abundant Life Is More Than Just Sunday Church
Abundant Life isn’t just a church to attend on Sunday mornings. It’s a community of Christians with the heart to serve others and grow in faith. Abundant Life’s mission is to see lives changed by Jesus. They do this by being living proof of a loving God to a watching world.
Through God’s coordination and design, relationships were formed to reach people from all walks of life, and Jesus’ name was magnified. It is wonderful to see the Body of Christ at work.