Credit: Baimieng via Shutterstock.

Credit: Baimieng via Shutterstock.

It’s a story seen across the nation – a neighborhood formerly known for rundown houses, empty shops and limited resources now finds flocks of millennials coming to the area’s trellised cafes and bars for brunch and drinks on weekends.

What formerly made the neighborhood “sketchy” or caused outsiders to steer clear is now marketed as a selling point of its “character” to new investors and residents.

It’s a change called “development” by many of the investors seeking to move in, and called “gentrification” by some who are skeptical of the impact that the rapid inflow of money has on longtime residents of a neighborhood.

Yet, many of these conversations about the challenges – and opportunities – of gentrification have left out the institutions at the heart of many of these neighborhoods: the churches.

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