2017-01-08 / Insight

Pastor wants to ‘shore up people’s existence’

810-452-2616 • pfoley@mihomepaper.com

Pastor Keenan Meredith of Full Potential Ministries, a small non-denominational church in Imlay City, hopes to help people to live up to their full potential. 
Photo by Phil Foley Pastor Keenan Meredith of Full Potential Ministries, a small non-denominational church in Imlay City, hopes to help people to live up to their full potential. Photo by Phil Foley Eat too much, drink too much? There’s a support group for that. Depressed because your spouse ran off with the neighbor or a loved one departed way too soon? There’s a support group for that too.

There are dozens of places in Lapeer County, hundreds across the state and thousands across the country where you can sit in a circle with people in the same situation and feel supported.

Pastor Keenan Meredith, who runs Full Potential Ministries, a small non-denominational church on Imlay City’s Weston Street, has a slightly different approach.

Meredith said he sees support groups like welfare. “The goal,” he said, “is to wean people from the need for help.”

He said, “We teach that God will bless and heal you. But if you live a healthy life, God will have to heal you a lot less often.”

That’s why he periodically brings in a dietician to run short programs and encourages church members to build a personal relationship with the dietician.

While Meredith has been involved in the ministry nearly 20 years, starting as an associate pastor in his brother’s church, House of Judah in Detroit, it wasn’t until 2010 that he walked away from a lucrative job with L&L Products in Romeo and opened the doors to Full Potential Ministries.

The idea behind his church was to see to it that people live to their full potential.

Meredith said he noticed when he began doing funerals, an awful lot of people had no insurance. “It caused a lot of stress,” he said. So he found a financial advisor and put together a program.

“We want to shore up people’s existence,” Meredith said.

Over time, he said, he’s found that some support programs are better handled by others. When the church opened with 37 members, it had a food bank, but he found that donating to a larger group worked better than trying to run a tiny one. “We’re not going to replay what other people are already doing well,” he said.

But when he noticed some church members having marital difficulties, he brought in “speakers from all over” and ran a sixmonth program that ended this summer.

However, like with other programs he put together, Meredith said he made sure the participants had someone they could connect with directly anytime.

“I like to teach life,” he said.

He said whether it’s getting your financial house in order, getting your health on track or building a better relationship with your family, “it’s all about making changes in your lifestyle.”

Meredith said, “There’s a lot of people who need help with life, period.”

He said baptism is just a beginning, not an end.

While Meredith wants church members to have access to help all the time, he doesn’t like the idea of running continual programs. “People lose interest,” he said, instead he said he likes to “reboot, refresh every couple of months.”

It seems to be working. In a county not known for its diversity, Meredith has built a multicultural church in Imlay City. “There’s a place here for everybody,” he said.

Full Potential Ministries holds services at 11 a.m. Sundays a 170 Weston Street. For more information, call 810-627-0104.

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