History, Mission, Vision of The Way Ministries…John 14:6
“Changing Lives through Christ” is the mission of The Way Ministries…John 14:6. Our culturally diverse, Christian ministry provides services to individuals and families regardless of their spiritual beliefs and religious affiliations. Founded in 1989 by Rev./Dr. Henry I. Oputa the ministry’s primary goal is prayer and juvenile delinquency prevention. Since its inception in 1989, the ministry has been actively engaged in the battle for the hearts and minds, and even the lives of some of Fresno’s most vulnerable children. The ministry operates on the belief that there are various ways to minister to the needs of our community.
Saturday Cultural School
In 1991, the ministry launched Saturday Cultural School: An African and African American Cultural Education and Self-image Program for children between the ages of 5 and 12. Saturday School uses cultural education to improve self-image, teach responsibility, and instill a joy for learning in children of African descent.
North U Street Cleanup Project
In 1993, the North “U” Street Clean-up Project was introduced. The North U Street project uses clean-up and physical exercise to address blight, teach the value of hard work, and instill personal discipline and neighborhood pride in children living in the Downtown area, most of whom are Latino/a.
The goal of both projects is for participants to love and respect their neighbor, graduate from high school, and pursue postsecondary education. Through these projects the ministry involves the children in events such as bowling, fishing, swimming, field trips, movie nights, and other fun and engaging activities.
Now posed to Celebrate Its 31st Anniversary, the ministry has served over 1000 children across our programs. Over the years, some have stayed on to assist in the programs. Some have gone on to two- and four-year colleges. Some have stopped at the Educational Coordinator’s office (Dr. Francine Oputa) at California State University, Fresno and asked, “Remember me?” Some have come back to North U Street to express their gratitude for providing them a haven while they were in the Jefferson neighborhood. Some are gainfully employed and productive citizens, in cities, in and out of California. Through both projects, the ministry’s board and volunteers have been able to encourage, re-direct, and strengthen children and their families, in our neighborhood, and community.
Saturday Sports at Jefferson Elementary
In 2007, The Way Ministries…John 14:6 implemented its vision for a local church – The Way Christian Fellowship. Through the church, the ministry collaborates with Every Neighborhood Partnership to offer Saturday Sports at Jefferson Elementary School. For 10.5 years the church operated in Fresno’s Jefferson and Lafayette neighborhoods. Currently, it is operating in the Melody Park neighborhood.
Zumba Demonstration at Melody Park
In 2016 the ministry developed Constant Movement – A Social Enterprise aimed at addressing the physical, emotional, and occupational needs of the community. The long-term goal of this enterprise is to hold a wide range of affordable classes that focus on dance, theater, and public speaking. The short-term goal is to provide Zumba classes in the Melody, Jefferson, and Southwest neighborhoods.
Over the years, the ministry has partnered and collaborated with many ministries, organizations, and governmental agencies, including: Adonai Covenant Ministries, Inc. African American Historical & Cultural Museum, Alliance for California Traditional Arts, Bringing Broken Neighborhoods Back To Life, Cable Links Construction Group, Calvary Baptist Church of Pacoima, Cecil C. Hinton Community Center, City of Fresno Parks and Recreation, Department of Social Services, Every Neighborhood Partnership, Faith in Fresno, Family Community Church, First 5 Fresno County, Fresno Pacific University – Center for Community Transformation, Fresno City College – Arts and Humanities Department, Fresno State –
College of Arts and Humanities, Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, Igbo Association of Central California, Martin Luther King Square Apartments, Ndokwa Association In America – California Chapter, New Beginnings Apostolic Assembly Church, New Covenant Community Church, Our Promise California State Employees, Saint Alphonsus Catholic Church, United Black Men of Fresno, West Fresno Ministerial Alliance.
Thanks to the following entities for our programs much needed funding and/or space: African American Historical & Cultural Museum, Alliance for California Traditional Arts, Bringing Broken Neighborhoods Back to Life, Cable Links Construction Group, Cecil C. Hinton Community Center, City of Fresno Parks and Recreation,
Bowling at Fresno State in Partnership with New Covenant Community Church (2015)
Department of Social Services, Every Neighborhood Partnership, Family Community Church, First 5 Fresno County, FPU – Center for Community Transformation, Fresno City College – Arts and Humanities Department, Fresno State – College of Arts and Humanities, Martin Luther King Square Apartments, Ndokwa Association In America – California Chapter, New Beginnings Apostolic Assembly Church, New Covenant Community Church, Our Promise California State Employees, Saint Alphonsus Catholic Church. Thanks to many members of our community for your prayers, generous, and sacrificial donations over the years. Your continuous prayers and contributions will help us deliver the next phase of our services to the community. The Way Ministries...John 14:6 is a 501-(c)-3 faith-based organization, incorporated with the State of California in 1991. Your tax deductible donation may be made at – www.thewayprayer.org or mailed to P. O. Box 6097 Fresno, CA 93703-6097. Thank you!