Homeboy

Stephen Fairfield's restless spiritual journey brought him to the Fifth Ward, where he found true deliverance while helping to rebuild the neighborhoods

"If we want to be the True Church," Clemons continues, "then deliverance ought to be expected here .... We must determine if we want to be the True Church or the Community of Good. We are under attack by those who would have us change our mission from what God has given us and ordained us to do."

And suddenly, it's obvious -- the skill as a homebuilder, the empathy, the restless but steadfast faith. Finally, the strength to accept and be accepted in, as Clemons describes it, "a community he has come to love and that has come to love him." That it happens to be an African-American community is, in itself, worthy of no great admiration. It just happened to be where he found true deliverance.

"One of my great frustrations," Fairfield says, "is that a lot of folks who call themselves Christians seem to have lived lives unchallenged by the profession of faith. You have to go out and do something. Then God will take away the heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh.

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