by Andrea Breaux ([email protected] )
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. [Proverbs 3:5-6]
New Creation Church, led by Pastor Lynne Herron, serves as a beacon of hope to the West Arden-Arcade district in Sacramento.
Recently, a study designated the West Arden-Arcade district as an environmentally vulnerable community, (Vulnerable populations are groups and communities at a higher risk for poor health as a result of the barriers they experience to social, economic, political and environmental resources, as well as limitations due to illness or disability.) Statistically, its African American residents have the highest rates of heart disease, COPD, diabetes, and hypertension. It is a food desert; there are too many solid waste pipes;; and it is one of the highest-traffic areas, with the worst air pollution.
Seeing the lack of opportunity and its substandard living conditions, Reverend Lynne made a covenant, “I told God that if you open up an opportunity for me to be able to help this community – I promise I will do that.”
She always felt called to serve the Lord, and hope carried her while growing up in her church’s youth ministries. When she finally expressed her desire to be a pastor, her grandfather declared that he had just been waiting for her to see it too. She was ordained in 2000.
She is currently representing the area as an advisor/advocate serving on the Environmental Justice Committee of Sacramento. She also works with Faith in Action Sacramento and the Black Pastors Cascus of Sacramento, a very new group,which have not yet established a contact link.
Pastor Herron says, “Part of living the gospel is making sure that this area is a safe environment." The church launched Youth for Greatness, which teaches healthy lifestyle habits and entrepreneurship in the local school district. The free program continues through the summer and is done in partnership with The Sacramento Free Summer Healthy Eating. New Creation provides the nurturing, and the County provides the nutritious food.
Recently New Creation gave up their building to free finances to pour back into their neighborhood. Now they come together through virtual services, and once a month, they hold house church, a practice of meeting for church at congregants’ homes. This means that New Creation is not just in a church building but in the community. “I pray that God will show me new and creative ways to raise the church up, and we take our rightful position in the community so that the people can have hope. I will work until God tells me I can’t work anymore to make sure that the next generation has an opportunity.”
She sees the “win” in her ministry as an ongoing process. “I want to step back, retire and know that I helped raise a generation that had the hope, pride, tenacity, and endurance to come back and invest in their neighborhood. And raise other entrepreneurs and advocates; people who will sit on advisory boards and make sure they fight for their community. I want to raise a generation that thinks entrepreneurship and investment and investing back into this area to become healthy and thriving again. This is the story of my life to trust God and let Him lead me.”