Written by Luke Bobo, originally posted at Made to Flourish.

Luke interviewed his good friend, Cedric Rowan for this piece.  Cedric and I have been friends over 30 years. We attended the same public high school in Kansas City, MO, and the the University of Kansas together.  Cedric pastors First Baptist Church in Kansas City, KS.  I refer to him as Ced.

(Luke) How long have you pastored First Baptist Church in Kansas City, KS? How would you describe the neighborhood around First Baptist Church?

(Ced) I was installed in January 2010, so I recently celebrated 7 years of pastoral service! But I am also Manager of Procurement Services for the City of Kansas City. First Baptist Church is located at the corner of 5th Street and Nebraska, in a blighted neighborhood. This is sad to me because this neighborhood was once the most successful and thriving community for African-Americans in Wyandotte county. Our neighborhood was once the home of African-American family-owned and operated Douglass Bank (my paternal grandparents banked here). Since the 80s, this neighborhood has declined and has gotten progressively worse. Across the board, this crime ridden area is like the “wild wild west” with the gratuitous gun violence. It now ranks at the bottom educationally, economically and residentially.

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