Cincinnati Metro Now Ohio’s Largest Metropolitan Region

Recent census data has revealed that the 7 county Cincinnati metro has surpassed Cleveland in terms of overall population, clocking in a 2,133,678 people. We’re getting ready to add to that number this summer. The region gained 12,550 people, compared to Cleveland’s decline of 8808. This is very exciting news for us, because growing population centers bode well for new churches as people moving into an area are in flux; churches provide stability and relationships. We have also been studying intently two areas of need in Cincinnati: the west end and more recently Mt. Auburn. From what can be gathered from zipskinny, the west end is about 80% or more African American with great concentrations of poverty. Mt. Auburn is a little more diverse, with about a 50/50 ratio of black to white and greater diversity of economic factors. Mt. Auburn is much more dense and has about 5 times…

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Some Cool News Clippings for Cincinnati

I’ve posted some negative news about Cincinnati recently here where Cincinnati ranks quite high in murder and lust. Perhaps some good news is in order. Here’s a few niceties that I’ve stumbled across recently. 1. Cincinnati is the best walking City in OH and the 10th best in the country. 2. Cincinnati is a tier one city for its number of new and expanded facilities according to Site Selection. 3. The Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is rapidly changing from 2001 riot headquarters to trendy and chic. 4. Cincinnati is home to 10 Fortune 500 companies, topping Indianapolis, Columbus and Akron. It has more of such companies per capita than NYC, Chicago and LA.

Cincinnati, the murderous sexpot

Today, Al Mohler summarizes a new Forbes study which ranks US cities in terms of their sinfulness. Since I plan on planting a church in the Queen City this summer, I was interested to discover two areas where Cincinnati ranks as particularly transgressive. In terms of murders, Cincinnati ranks #7, with 28.8 murders per 100,000 people. Certainly, this is no small contributing factor to the gentrification effort currently underway in Cincinnati’s most crime riddled neighborhood, Over the Rhine. In the last ten years or so, city planners have performed a major surgical strike in the downtown area by clearing out one of the country’s largest public housing projects and have replaced it with multi-income housing. Whether this is a good or bad thing remains to be seen, but that’s where I plan on living. Cincinnati is also a steaming and sizzling lust engine, ranking #8 as the most lustful. Forbes…

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Racial Unity in Church Planting

Laura and I visited Cincinnati today. I was there a week ago and really sensed a leading from the Lord to seriously pursue planting a church there in the urban downtown area. I blogged about it last week. A wise friend told me recently that when you’re looking to plant a new church, you want to see some tangible evidence that God’s hand is in the project and He is working to pull things together. In light of my trip there today, here are some ways that I definitely see God working. 1. This church plant was being planned before I came along. I was fascinated to find out, while meeting the Cincinnati Baptist Association Director of Missions, that his association has determined inner-city Cincinnati as his top priority for this year. While I was thinking that I would have to come into a new city to start a new…

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Racial Unity, Arts, Mercy, College Students and Church Planting

There are several streams of ministry desires that have been in my heart for some time. Some seemed more realistic than others. For example, Laura and I have a strong passion for racial reconciliation, but this problem seems so overwhelmingly difficult that I had relegated it to the “would be nice, but…” status. Essentially, the people that I have spoken with who understand this issue well told me that it would be very difficult for a white man to address the complex issues of black America with any degree of credibility.

Take a deep breath

After spending a day and a night in Cincinnati, its time to take a deep breath and evaluate. We liked the city a great deal, and were able to connect with some great dudes who showed us around the town. We really liked the east end of town, in particular the Oakley, Hyde Park, Mt. Lookout, Norwood areas, which are pretty diverse culturally, economically, racially, and so on. A church in the middle of all this should be able to draw UC kids (a big plus) but also poor, rich, and a large swath geeks, sluts, motorheads, dorks, dweebies… (please tell me you’re not too young to catch this movie reference…) Here’s a picture of the skyline taken from N Ky. Beautiful. I took a bajillion pictures of the different neighborhoods and also pictures of the map to keep them separate. Laura made fun of me. I don’t care. So…

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