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Revolutionary Green Gym At Church

A United Methodist pastor is leading a revolution, a green revolution. Faith Fowler uses donated exercise equipment and discarded tires to create jobs and provide electricity for those in her community.


(Locator: Detroit, Michigan)

Lydia Lanni: "What are we going to do?"

Darron Gibson: "Is that what we're going to do. Whoa!"

Lydia Lanni: "I don't know! I got to sit down."

Darron Gibson: "Me too."

Lydia Lanni: Cass Community, they have a green gym, and in those gyms they have bikes. While you're pedaling, you are creating energy."

Stacy Leigh, Cass Community Social Services: "What they are essentially doing in this room will help power the machines in the mud mat room, operated by homeless guys who are part of a vocational training program."

The Rev. Faith Fowler, Cass Community United Methodist Church: "The second room is a document destruction or shredding room where we employ 50 developmentally disabled people to sort and shred paper and cardboard and X-rays. I'm Faith Fowler, senior pastor at Cass Community United Methodist Church and executive director at Cass Community Social Services in Detroit. At least three groups of people pedal the bikes here at the green gym; some are residents, people formally living on the streets and now living in our transitional shelter."

Darron Gibson: "Well when I'm working out it's really a lot of fun. It's keeping me working on my cardiovascular. It's a dual purpose."

Marcellus Sabra, Cass Vocational Training Program: "I work in the mud mat assembly room, where we actually take tires, used tires out of the community, and we bring them back here and we make mud mats out of them, like door mats."

The Rev. Faith Fowler: "So the fact that Cass is able to pick up the tires at no cost to the city, 17,000 so far, and actually turn that into jobs and keep them out the landfill is a terrific proposition. The second group is the staff of Cass. Very often they come over on lunch hours or after work or before work. The last group of people are all volunteers. We see 5,000 volunteers a year here."

Lydia Lanni: "The cool thing about this part of Cass' ministry-- it's building pride for people. It's not about giving a hand out; it's about helping and building up people."

Delano Gayles, Cass Vocational Training Program: "I dream to start my own family and have my own house, you know be on my own one day."

Andre Jones: "You know since I have been here I have been learning how to become a man. So it's giving my integrity back, my dignity back and pride back."

Marcellus Sabra: "They put me in a place where I can sit down and actually evaluate my situation in life. I feel I'm on the right track and I feel like I just need to stay on that same track."

Stacy Leigh: "Most of my guys, two years ago they were on the streets, they were probably using. They were probably suffering from untreated mental illness and today these guys are on the front lines of the green revolution, and they're also learning skills that make them employable."

Darron Gibson: "I got it on six resistance. You can't do anything."

Lydia Lanni: "Ten! Ten resistance!"

Darron Gibson: "Alright you did it."


For more information, contact Cass Community United Methodist Church at 313-833-7730.

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Posted: January 9, 2012

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