God has been making promises to Pastor Hubert Nolen since 1976 when Luke 4:18 proclaimed ?The Spirit of the Lord is on me,?because he has anointed me?to proclaim good news?to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners?and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.? Pastor Nolen planted churches and ministered to the captives in Brazil, Haiti, India, Israel, Cuba and Kentucky, yes even Kentucky. He planted Brookville Road Christian Church in 1983 and pastored there for 32 years.
From This Day On, the 24th Day of the Ninth Month
In 2006, the Lord gave Pastor Nolen another promise which came from the shortest book of the Bible. Haggai 2:18-19 ?From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought?to the day when the foundation?of the?Lord?s temple was laid. Give careful thought:??Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate?and the olive tree have not borne fruit. From this day on I will bless?you.? Pastor Nolen first wrote the promise in his bible as he knows the Lord?s time table is not at all our time table and it is important to record all the promises made from the Lord. He studied every word of this promise, he cross referenced it, he memorized it and he revisited the promise every year for 10 years on September 24th.
A Dream To Help The Least of These
The Lord stirs our hearts and He plants dreams within us. Twelve years after planting Brookville Road Community Church, Pastor Nolen attended a pastor's conference and listened as Tommy Barnett an Assemblies of God pastor from Phoenix cast a vision for a Dream Center to reach out to the community to the least of these to love the unlovable. As Tommy Barnett described helping the helpless, prostitutes, orphans, children emancipated from foster care, homeless and veterans, the vision swelled the heart of Pastor Nolen to build a church like this.
Fast forward 20 years to a New Year's fast in January 2015. Pastor Nolen asked God what God wanted done. The Dream Center came to mind and a Google search showed that the Dream Center was now a reality in Los Angeles. He watched a testimony of a woman who had been transformed by the love shown from the Dream Center and Pastor Nolen wept. He wept at the full realization of God?s grace and goodness and he wept with thanksgiving this young woman now had a purpose for living. He then heard God whisper, ?if you are going to do this, get on with it because you are not getting any younger.
So at age 59, it was time to step aside from 32 years of pastoring Brookville Road Community Church and a year-long transition plan began. Pastor Nolen began casting vision for his dream center and on? March 1, 2016 planning for this center of hope began. The name had not yet been chosen but ?hope? needed to be in the name because while everyone has a dream, ?hope? is what helps you to believe you can accomplish the impossible.
Bruce Ford was out of town when Pastor Nolen preached his last sermon February 14, 2016. Bruce read about it in the newspaper and reached out to his friend to touch base. Bruce and his business partner Josh Bach had a few God inspired dreams of their own. What started for them with free education seminars at the public library progressed to buying a small 1,000 sq. ft. building and converting an old walk-in cooler to a studio where they created podcasts for a radio program on financial education.
As Bruce and Josh sat in the converted cooler and dreamed about bringing financial education to the masses, Bruce went to the whiteboard and drew a big square with offices all around the perimeter. Bruce said ?we need an entrance way with a central reception area and others will rent offices from us. We will have a training center in the middle and it will be a place where we share referrals and educate each other. We will work with clients in a no-pressure atmosphere that provides education first and products and services second.
Driving down Mount Comfort Road, Bruce saw a big building for rent. Of the 40,000 sq. ft. available, Bruce leased 10,000 sq. ft. and Collaborate 317 was born. The building exactly matched the design Bruce had drawn on the white board. Prophetic? With no balance sheet and a new LLC, Bruce shared his vision for First Financial Education Centers with the landlord. Bruce smiles as he says ?they loved it and took a big chance on us. That was two and a half years ago. Since then we added the event center and our complex is 25,000 sq. ft. which offers everything needed in a business development center.
In Your Back Yard
Bruce called Pastor Nolen and said I don?t know what you are doing, but I want to show you what I am doing and let?s figure out how we can help each other.? Pastor Nolen came to Bruce?s office at Collaborate 317 and explained to Bruce that he was going to create a center for women rescued from human trafficking. Bruce asked how he was going to bring these women here from overseas. Pastor Nolen said ?Bruce, Bruce you don?t understand. I am talking about what is going on right here in our back yard.
Bruce listened in horror as Pastor Nolen laid out the statistics. There are countless women between the ages of 12 and 18 being trafficked. This has Bruce?s attention as he has 4 daughters. The epidemic is huge and the typical life span of these girls is short and virtually none make it out. The prostitutes you see on city streets are actually being trafficked. These women have been raped thousands of times before they are rescued or killed. Bruce looked at Pastor Nolen and asked if there was something that he could do support them in their mission. Pastor Nolen looked around and asked if Bruce might have a little office space they could use. This was funny because Pastor Nolen had only seen Bruce?s office and had no idea the rest of the 10,000 sq. ft. was all empty offices. They went on a tour and Bruce said ?pick out any office you like.
Pastor Nolen and his son David worked at Collaborate 317 for nine months. Bruce explained, ?we created some major synergy here. Josh assisted with the 501c3 launching the effort for the Hope Center. It did not have a name and it did not have a facility, it did not have anything other than a dream. Pastor Nolen just continued to share his vision and had Wednesday night prayer meetings.
Pastor Nolen toured the Dream Center in Los Angeles. He knew the center had to offer much more than a 30-day intervention. It would take 12-18 months to transform a young woman from the horrors of being sex trafficked. These women need education and they need to learn a new profession to provide employment. They need significant healing. Pastor Nolen returned to Indiana and started looking at many different residential facilities.
Stop Looking – Start Praying
When they looked at the facility that is now Hope Center, Pastor Nolen knew it was the place. He stopped looking and started praying. He shared the vision with the Pastor Mark from his daughter church plant, Brandywine Community Church. Pastor Nolen made an offer on the building with money he did not have. When an offer of 2 million did not get a response, son David suggested 3 million. They did not have that either, but it did not stop them.
Pastor Nolen wanted to hear Pastor Mark?s five year plan for Brandywine Community Church and attended his church service on the 25th day of the ninth month of 2016. As pastor Mark spoke about the dream of Pastor Nolen for the Hope Center, he spoke with full authority. He put a picture of the Hope Center campus up on the screen and proclaimed ?this 140,000 sq. ft. 25 acre complex will be the largest aftercare center in America to help victims of human trafficking.? Pastor Nolen was stunned. It was prophetic. He had never thought of it this way. All he knew was he had a dream, he found a facility, he had no money. Pastor Mark said they needed to immediately pray for breakthrough and the church prayed.
From This Day On I Will Bless You
The next day on Monday September 26th, Pastor Nolen received a call (out of the blue) from the attorney for the property (who had ignored their two low offers) and asked if they would be interested in a lease. Pastor Nolen had already offended them twice with low offers on the 6 million dollar building and he did not want to do it again. He prayed and settled on an amount he thought he could live with.
On Wednesday September 28th, He boldly asked for a monthly rent of $10,500 and he wanted that amount returned to the property in capital improvements. Pastor Nolen reflected ?$10,500 is a lot of money when you don?t have it, but it is surely a miraculous rent as it calculated out to just seven and one half cents per square foot when commercial real estate rents for $10 per square foot.? This might have been the third and final offending offer, but on Friday, September 30, 2016 the offer was accepted. Pastor Nolen was on his combine harvesting soybeans when the call came in. He got off the combine raising his arms toward heaven and said ?thank you LordI think.
And that is how it all began.
Stay tuned for the chronology of miracles as Hope Center Indy becomes reality.
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Hope Center Indy
11850 Brookville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46239
Polly Riddell writing under the pen name of G. Polly Jordan is The Story Teller. A freelance journalist writing business spotlight promotional stories and positively in love with telling the God stories.