Archbishop Allen Wiggins Highlights Hope Church’s Role In Orlando’s Community Development

Archbishop Allen Wiggins Highlights Hope Church's Role In Orlando's Community Development

ORLANDO – Archbishop Allen Wiggins of The Hope Church of Orlando was recently invited to participate in a virtual lunch and learn called “Beyond a Sunday: The Role of the Black Church in Planning Communities.”

On Thursday, Feb. 29, after representatives of Orlando’s planning staff summarized successful development projects in the Washington Shores community, Archbishop Wiggins discussed the church’s pivotal role in that work over the past 20 years. He highlighted what he terms a “divine calling” to establish Hope Center West – a live, work, learn, play and worship ecosystem – with a comprehensive approach to community transformation, which he launched in the heart of the historically distressed community.

During the presentation, Archbishop Wiggins emphasized the importance of working together. He highlighted an asset mapping exercise the City of Orlando hosted at The Hope Church for the community to gather and share data. It was during this event that it became clear to the archbishop that the heart of Washington Shores was in a food desert – a place where fresh fruits and vegetables are not available within a one-mile radius. This discovery prompted his efforts to seek out and pitch a site to a major brand name grocery store; securing this grocer was key in kickstarting the Hope Center West development.

Archbishop Wiggins also used his time to provide a visionary outlook for the future by explaining why he believes technology plays a critical role in keeping the Washington Shores community connected to a quickly evolving world and its need to remain relevant with the upcoming generations. The archbishop believes that faith, technology and entrepreneurship are drivers in implementing a live, work, learn, play and worship community worthy of investment and that will be sustainable for years to come.