Keep It Real Ministry a Baptist church founded by Bishop Wade Johnson in 2018, is on the path of making a strong presence in West Philadelphia. The church pours into the community by offering food to the residents through its food bank.
“We try to do it the Bible way. Like in the Books of Acts, if I have food, you have food,” Jackson said. The food bank, located on the corner of 59th Street and Lansdowne Avenue, runs Monday through Friday and gives away 3,000 pounds of food every day.
“Nobody in my congregation has a shutoff notice,” Jackson said. “We will not allow that. Nobody needs food.”
Jackson is regarded as being kind, caring, thoughtful, and a man of integrity by Deacon Daryl Jones. Jones has been a deacon for seven years and answered Jackson’s call when he was asked to join Keep It Real Ministry as a deacon. Jones said the food bank is just one way Jackson has helped to touch the lives of others, including his.
“I came to help him,” Jones said. “You need people you can trust when you start doing stuff like this.”
Keep It Real Ministry has six ministers and four deacons. During a recent quarantine, Jackson asked his ministers and deacons to pray for peace and world leadership, something Jones didn’t realize at the time would be so powerful.
“Our assignment was to pray for COVID and world leaders. From March to June, we were on the prayer line every day,” he said. “It was for a purpose. It brought us even closer and we relied on each other, we grew together.”
Jackson’s purpose for his church was to do exactly what he named the church. “I desire to keep it real with God first. Then with each other,” he said. “The church is not about membership, it’s all about discipleship.”
And he has found believers.
“I see him taking this church far,” Jones said. “He has a huge vision. I see him growing this church and taking it a long way.”
Bishop Jackson opened his church in the summer and has taken extra precautions to keep his congregation safe. Jackson has an FDA approved machine that can keep the church COVID free and covers up to 3,000 feet. Jackson only allows 25 people to attend service on Sundays, and everyone who enters the church must have their temperature taken and wear a mask at all times.
As COVID numbers continue to rise, Jackson will continue to abide by the law when gathering on Sundays.
“I see myself scaling back on people coming in. As long as the law says we can gather, we will gather. Once the law says we can’t, we won’t,” said Bishop Jackson.
Minister Zeddie Dukes, a founding member, will be ordained in two weeks as an elder evangelist. Dukes thanks God for Jackson’s vision.
“I love being part of Keep It Real Ministry,” Dukes said. “I thank God every day for Bishop Jackson’s vision. We focus on kingdom building, that’s what we stand on.”