Of course, the city isn’t gentrifying everywhere. Some struggling sectors, such as Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood, are still seeking modest development in the form of stores, restaurants and decent housing.
For decades a group of countercultural Christians has been developing innovative ministries in Lawndale. Lawndale Community Church was started in 1975, led by Wayne Gordon, a Wheaton College graduate who had moved to the area and started a Bible study in his home. His book Real Hope in Chicago (Zondervan) tells about the shattered windows and stolen cars of those early days. The struggles of living and working in the neighborhood tested his family’s idealism.