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Community Hero: East side pastor feels lifelong call to service

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A Saturday morning prayer outside The Rock Missionary Baptist Church on Indy’s east side marks Community Day.

Once a month, the church cooks out and feeds whoever shows up. It’s about meeting needs on every level: free food, clothes, shoes, new coats—even school supplies for kids.

And for Pastor Darrell Sydnor—it goes beyond just Community Day.

“I believe that the church should be the primary focal point in the community,” said Sydnor, this month's Community Hero. “We should be the one striving to meet the needs of those who are in our community.”

Anytime there is a crisis, Sydnor is there in neighborhoods, praying, counseling and offering support in whatever way he can.

Service is a lifelong theme for him.

Before making his presence felt on the far east side, he served our country in the Army. He got the call to step back into ministry just before being promoted to lieutenant colonel. He was meant to be a temporary replacement at Rock of Faith, but it turned into something much more.

“I have a passion for our young people for youth and helping them to make right choices and getting them to a place where they can do positive things in life,” he said.

His next vision is even greater: to transform the area behind the main building into a community campus. The rendering of this $3 million project sits just outside the sanctuary—a safe place for young people and adults to come play, learn, create, get mentoring, support and guidance.

Nominate a Community Hero of the Month here.