The Rev. Charles Moodie

The Rev. Charles Moodie

“I’m originally from Yonkers, New York. I’ve been married 23 years to my wife, Kehinde, and I have two sons: Joshua, who is 23, and Josiah, who is 21.”

“When we were in New York, my wife and I believed Chicago is where God wanted us to be. So, my wife and I resigned our positions. My wife was a public school teacher, and I was a full-time minister. We moved to Chicago without a church or jobs.”

“We moved here in 2012 and six weeks after being in Chicago, I met Pastor Chris and Monica DeLaurentis. They were the lead pastors of the Chicago City Life Center in Englewood. I shared with them my goal to reach people outside the walls of the church.”

“We didn’t want to minister in a typical church. We wanted to reach outside individuals that were involved in gangs. Community members who struggled with addictions, homelessness, prostitution and single parents who had at-risk teens and share the Gospel with them.”

“But also, we wanted to mentor these individuals and connect them with opportunities. We didn’t want to just serve them, we wanted to train them up so that they could be self-sufficient.”

“I became a campus pastor, then I became the lead pastor of the Chicago City Life Center. Now I’ve been leading the ministry since 2015.”

“We use the T-4 model: Trauma, treatment, transformation and training. Trauma is where we go out to where those individuals are. Every week, we minister in three different communities on the streets, where we feed folks and bring hope.”

“We pray for them and invite them to the church, that’s where we can deal with some of that trauma. But we’re also letting them know about job opportunities as well as trainings that they could get for free in these communities.”

“Next, we focus on treatment, and the treatment is sharing the Gospel with them, letting them know that there’s a God and heaven that has a plan and a purpose for their life.”

“Then we help transform and train them. We find them employment in different capacities within and outside the church, depending on how far along they are. One of our members, Miss Rose, was someone who we met from outreach.”

“She came to church very consistently and we were able to offer her a job cleaning. Then we saw that she had a knack with children, and we made her a teacher at our preschool. She’s been there about four or five years now.”

“The mortality rate is high in Englewood, and we also have a lot of single-parent homes. Poverty is a big issue where some of these women don’t have the resources to take care of themselves.”

“The other big thing is support from the families, because most of the kids do not have both parents. You usually have just one parent who’s trying to pull all the weight and sometimes their grandparents.”

“The Southside Life House is our newest way to give back. We started asking, ‘Where are the women going to go who may not have support?’ So we wanted to develop a place where women could find support.”

“The women can receive medical attention and counseling from a clinical psychologist. They can also continue their education or get job training. These ladies and their children will be able to stay in the Southside Life House for up to three years for free, while they’re being supported and trained, or as they’re going through their pregnancy and treatment.”

“We wanted to deal with the medical side as well because the mortality rate is so high in the inner cities of America.”

“The end goal is to have these women begin to live independent lives. We don’t want them to become dependent on us, the church, another man or the government. We want them to be self-sufficient so they will be able to raise their family on their own without putting themselves into a worse situation than they were in the first place.”

“Jesus said, all the laws are wrapped up in these two things: Love God. Love your neighbor.”

“That’s what we’re trying to do at Chicago City Life Center. Through the work that we do here, we just want to be great lovers to those who are neighbors and support them in the way God is calling us to.”

“We support them so our community can thrive, so our city can thrive, and then, eventually, our nation can thrive. I believe if we all play a part, we could see our community truly be transformed.”

“I often tell people, even within my church, we will never quit. I didn’t leave my family in New York; my occupation and my wife didn’t leave her career so we could play church in Chicago.”

“We really want to see peoples’ lives transformed. But the only way that’s going to happen is if we all play a part. We all can’t play the same part. But we all can play a part. And I think if we play a part, we can see so much done within our community.”

The Rev. Charles Moodie
Head pastor, Chicago City Life Center
Chicago, Illinois

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