Founder’s Message

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As we survey the landscape of our community, it doesn’t take us long to see that its beauty is yet to be realized. It doesn’t take long to see that this beauty is obscured by a great wall. And this wall should be called what it is – a stronghold. The bricks in this wall have been set, one by one, over time and the mortar is the mindset that nothing can or will change. These bricks are deficits of hope, lack of purpose, one day at a time living, the idea that gang life is “family life”, that drug and alcohol abuse are means of escape, and that accountability for actions is a sign of weakness. These entrenched mindsets bring nothing but despair. The truth is, however, that all these negative and deadly elements can be a springboard to life-change.

It is in such circumstances that those on both sides of the wall have permission and sense the desire to tear down the barrier – and that is given by God Himself. We at the Thrive Center believe that this permission is not provided by mandates of social reform, but by the Reformer of Hearts – Jesus Christ. We see this permission given in the Word of God which offers this declarative statement, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have the divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every loft opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…” (II Corinthians 2:10:3-5). The sure foundation for such an authoritative statement is based on the finished work of Jesus Christ, who by His obedient life, sacrificial death, and triumphant resurrection has secured freedom from sin and death for all who believe. This freedom extends to all areas of life and godliness; this freedom carries with it the promise to make all things new. Strongholds are destroyed and the beauty of the image-bearing creation is revealed.

This truth is the impetus behind the Thrive Center’s mission. It is based on this truth and the proclamation of the Gospel that we seek to turn the stronghold’s brick into ash. With the Gospel at the forefront we seek to provide training in leadership, job creation, the eradication of the “hood” mentality, and a physical structure in the Northeast Omaha community where these purposes and ideas are a consistent and concrete reality in action.

We clearly understand that we are undertaking a great work. With the purpose of God at heart, and the support of those that are committed to change in this city, we can and will accomplish what is set before us. It comes to us as no surprise that such efforts will necessarily require a financial commitment as well. We are humbly asking that you partner with us financially, and prayerfully in this great endeavor. There is no financial commitment too great, or too small. We would consider it a privilege to share with you the work that is currently in progress, and our plans for the very near future. We at Thrive Center seek to do great things for the glory of the One who possess the power to save by regenerating hearts one by one! Partner with us and may His hand guide our purposes and hearts.

For His Glory Alone,


Founder Joseph Shannon Jr.




Founder David N. Brown Sr.