Andrew & Shannon Schultz
- Our Local
- Our Reach
- Our Self
Andrew and Shannon Schultz serve in Kensington, an inner-city neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia is the poorest “big city” in the United States, with twenty-seven percent of its population and one third of its children living below the federal poverty level. In the neighborhood of Kensington, these statistics are nearly doubled.
The Kensington area is very diverse, with a mix of Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic residents. Poverty and unemployment are widespread, as are a lack of community resources, educational opportunities, and good housing. The neighborhood struggles with violent crimes, dysfunctional families, neglect, abuse, alcoholism, and drug addiction. As Andrew explains, “The only thing more plentiful in our neighborhood than the problems and needs are the unbelievable opportunities to share the incredible love of Jesus Christ, as well as the forgiveness and hope available only in a personal relationship with Him.”
After seeing the numerous needs in their community, the Schultzes began reaching out through a number of local ministries. While their primary ministry responsibilities center around children and youth, the goal is to reach whole families for Christ. Ministries include a large Bible club for children every Tuesday, an outreach to neighborhood teens every Thursday, and a teen discipleship program every Monday.
As opportunities to reach more of the community have become apparent, Andrew and Shannon have grown their ministries to include weekly food distribution, a community thrift shop, addiction recovery, after-school programs, adult Bible studies, and special outreaches in the Kensington neighborhood.
The Schultzes have served as InFaith field staff since 2001, but have been living and ministering in Kensington since 1994.
Andrew and Shannon were originally planning to serve the Lord overseas. But after a two-year internship with an inner-city ministry, it became clear that God was directing them to ministry in the United States. Andrew writes, “It has been a real blessing to host many short-term mission teams and help them realize that there are just as many spiritual needs here in our own backyard as there are overseas, and that both home and foreign missions need to be a priority of the local church.”
The Schultzes have four children they are raising in Kensington, and consider it a blessing to have the whole family so actively involved in the ministry.