Pastor Taurus Montgomery reacts to the news that Harbor of Hope received one of the top prizes at the CALLED Pastors and Families Convention in Kentucky, on Tues. June 21.  Photo credit: Rayno Victor

June 23, 2022

Michigan church secures $20,000 to expand ministry

Harbor of Hope Church in Benton Harbor, Michigan was awarded $20,000 after participating in the North American Division’s ‘Evangelism Shark Tank’ at the CALLED Convention in Lexington, Kentucky.

Taurus Montgomery, senior pastor of Michigan Conference’s Harbor of Hope Church says he is excited to receive these funds which will allow them to expand their basketball ministry and reach more people, starting in September 2022.

“We’re looking forward to using the game to win men and women to the Master!” said Montgomery.

The expansion dubbed “Beyond the Game” will facilitate several programs, including:

  • Launching character development programs at local public schools in small groups.
  • Mobilizing 100 at-risk youth to participate in seven compassion projects organized in collaboration with city leaders.
  • Conducting a Christ-centered, sports themed evangelism series with an average attendance of 200 pre-Adventist guests with at least 50 making decisions for Christ.

In addition to the ministries, a manual will be produced to help other churches duplicate this ministry.

Harbor of Hope has a long history of using innovative means to reach the inner-city neighborhood just 14 miles northwest of Berrien Springs. Last summer the church held “The Final Play,” an event that brought families together to set the tone for a positive, productive, and peaceful summer in the city of Benton Harbor. Over 70 were baptized in 2021.

In his pitch at the CALLED Convention on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, Montgomery explained that being one of the finalists is confirmation of God’s call on his life and ministry. “I didn’t have the privilege of growing up in the church. I got into drugs, crime, and fast money at a young age. But when my house burned down and we were homeless, an Adventist family welcomed my family into their home, and into their church. That church had a basketball ministry. They planted the seeds that led me to Christ.”

Harbor of Hope was one of three ministries receiving the top prize of $20,000 each at the CALLED Pastors' Family Convention sponsored by the NAD Ministerial Association. Others received amounts ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

At the close of the presentations on Wednesday, June 22, Jose Cortes, Jr. said they received 100 applications and only 15 finalists were invited to give a final pitch to a panel of judges.


Debbie Michel is the Lake Union Communication director and Lake Union Herald editor.