Our People
Executive Staff
Brian Upton
Executive Director

Rev. Jim Martin
Pastoral Advisor

Program and
Administrative Staff

Nadia Abuamsha
Community Worker
to Arabic Women

Francois Banyeretse
Community Worker
to African Refugees

Dana Carlisle
Manager, Fundraising and Communications

Jeanne Evers
Administrative Assistant

Lesa Hess
Secretary to Executive and Assistant Directors

Amy Mitchell
Director of Ministry Engagement

Anita Morrison
Director, Community Literacy and Tutoring Ministries

Eileen Wilson
Director, Refugee
Resettlement Ministries

Ganga Diyali
Community Worker

Board of Directors
(and their church affiliation)

Jonathan Reitz, Chair
CoachNet Global
Heartland Community Church, Medina

Tim Foust, Vice Chair
Grace CMA Church, Middleburg Heights

Christine Weber, Secretary
First Energy Corporation
Bay Presbyterian Church, Bay Village

Colin Bell
Thrivent Financial
Hope Lutheran Church, Aurora
Staci Lowell
Self-employed business owner

Elizabeth Sheehe
Rocky River United Methodist Church, Rocky River

Sharon Martin
St. Paschal Baylon Church, Broadview Heights

Debra Moore
St. Elizabeth Baptist Church, Cleveland

Greg Wadel
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Medina

James Theiling
US Bank
Bay Presbyterian Church, Bay Village

Our Mission, Ministries and People

Background | Our Mission | What We Do | Locating Our Partners, Ministries and Programs

Building Hope in the City is an independent ministry organization that seeks to strengthen urban ministry and mission in Northeast Ohio and beyond.
Formed in August 2003, Building Hope in the City owes its birth to God's blessings and grace at Trinity Lutheran Church, a thriving, 160-year-old Lutheran congregation located just outside of downtown Cleveland.
Today, with a dyanmic board, staff and hundreds of volunteers, Building Hope in the City's efforts stretch from Cleveland to Akron and Cincinnati. The organization provides a broad new voice for urban missions and for the importance of God's People to be present in the city, sharing His Word and their witness of His redeeming love in Jesus.

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Our Mission
Restoring the city to God by developing and linking people, communities and churches. We focus these efforts in four main areas: 

Urban Community Development and Church Planting
We work toward renewing and healing city neighborhoods from the inside out. Working in partnership with local residents, we build networks of people who work collaboratively to lead change, provide neighborhood solutions and programs and who help anchor new, dynamic city congregations and ministries.

Welcoming and Partnering with Refugees and Immigrants
God is gathering people of many differing cultures and nationalities into our cities.  Building Hope in the City senses and acts upon His call to welcome these people, assist in their resettlement and make others aware of the many gifts and assets refugees and immigrants bring to our community. 

Equipping Congregations to Serve Their Communities Effectively
Building Hope in the City leads a variety of efforts to renew existing urban ministries including consulting services, leadership training for volunteers and pastors and offering proven know-how in outreach methods that help congregations connect with their community.

Training and Deploying God's People to Serve in the City
Our volunteers and partnering ministries are the lifeblood of this organization. Building Hope in the City serves as a rallying point and springboard for hundreds of area residents who want to engage their community concerns, faith and service to the Lord in the new ways. 
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What We Do
Building Hope in the City provides urban ministry resources and leadership in partnership with the people and groups:

Community Leaders, Church Workers and Missionaries

Urban Residents, Refugees and Immigrants

Congregations, Groups and Volunteers

Locating Our Partners,
Ministries and Programs

In Northeast Ohio

View BHITC Ministry Locations - Cleveland in a larger map

In Akron

View BHITC Ministry Locations - Akron in a larger map

In Cincinnati (through our sister organization, Building Hope in the City-Cincinnati)

View BHITC Ministry Locations - Cincinnati in a larger map

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©Building Hope in the City | 2013