A vision to unite, renew, restore

File Under: Service

Alumni help lead 3rd Street Community Church

Corey Hunka ’12, began hanging out in Southeast Canton simply because he was looking for a good place to play basketball. He never dreamt that someday God would lead him to form a church at the heart of the Martin Center. Hunka, lead pastor for 3rd Street Community Church, and his wife Rachel, began cultivating relationships in 2009 through the local after-school programs, Tiqvah - Hands of Hope and Lighthouse Ministries. From there, God continuously led them deeper and deeper into ministry.

“Our goal was never to start a church,” Rachel said. “We just consistently showed up and did life with the students and families we met. Nothing was planned, strategic, or flashy. We just went with whatever the students wanted to do and made a lot of food along the way.”

Dishes Kamwesa 10, the missional communities pastor of 3rd Street, and his wife, Jordan (DeWeerd) ’10 has been on this journey with the Hunkas since the beginning.

“I have seen how Corey sacrifices his time, money and resources in order to help others, even when it doesn't directly benefit him,” Kamwesa remarks. “He has learned how to lead by example in how he treats others. His willingness to put aside preference to share the love of Christ has been challenging and inspiring.”

Long-time mentor and visionary leader of RiverTree Christian Church, Jason Lantz 02, has enjoyed watching Hunka grow over the past few years.

“Corey is willing to be a leader that is teachable, who doesn't act like he knows it all, and is open to learn from those who are different from him,” Lantz said. “This will go a long way in the call he has to unify the Church to be the diverse body that it is meant to be.”

Sustaining a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic church is a deep passion of Hunka’s.

“The idea of unity in diversity is, to most people, unimaginable,” he said. “But, I believe we clearly see it in God’s plan when we read Scripture. “I’m excited for what can be done for the Kingdom when people of all backgrounds come together united under the banner of the family of Jesus Christ.”

Learn More

To learn more about the newly-launched ministry at 3rd Street Community Church, visit their facebook page.