“A lot of churches try to be multicultural, but it takes intentionality and active outreach to get there,” explained Pastor Scott Yi, the new lead pastor at the International Alliance Church in Providence, RI. “Providence is incredibly diverse, despite its small size,” he continued. “It is one of the best places to ‘reach the nations’. The Latino influence is incredibly strong, but the city is also a refugee hub for Liberian, Iraqi, Congolese, Burmese and other communities. Our local church is striving to be a reflection of God’s Kingdom where every tribe is gathered.”
“Providence is incredibly diverse.
It’s one of the best places to ‘reach the nations’.”
Scott and his wife, Amber, joined IAC three months ago in the lead pastor role, although they have lived in Providence for the last fifteen years. His parents moved to Northeast Ohio from South Korea, and Scott eventually made his way here to attend Brown University. But while attending medical school God’s calling into ministry became too clear to ignore. So he quit and focused his attention on full-time ministry instead.
Scott and Amber currently run their own youth nonprofit organization, Youth Collaborative; and moving forward they hope to use that to connect the city’s teens with the ministries at IAC. The launch of the Envision: Providence site is also building excitement, as well as work on other innovative outreach programs.
One of the aspects of IAC that Scott is most encouraged about is the collaboration between first- and second-generation immigrants. “Usually the young adults feel like the church doesn’t care about or serve their needs. So they tend to leave to look for something more contemporary,” Scott explains. “IAC is actually a rare community where the first generation is encouraging the next generation to rise up and take leadership roles. They want to see the younger people develop into leaders.”
Having recently purchased a home in one of the rougher neighborhoods in Providence, Scott and Amber are committed to an urban ministry. “I’m often surprised at how open the people are here. It’s not exactly friendliness, but I do see a willingness to engage with strangers. It’s a great opportunity for ministry.”
As Scott continues through the C&MA ordination process, he admits “I’ve been blown away by the commitment of the district to missions and evangelism.” He asks for your prayer and support with the goal of developing a strong leadership and infrastructure at IAC, to form a truly international community.
For more information on IAC, their programs and events, visit their Facebook page.