Jefferson Awards: A Pastor’s Labor of Love Brings Community Together

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DAVENPORT -- Inside the Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad Cities is a congregation based on one word - love.

"The biggest tenant of my faith is simply love," said Rev. Rich Hendricks. "Love one another and the more that we can do that and the more ways we can do that to the more people we can do that - that's what my faith is all about."

For nearly 12 years, Rev. Hendricks has been the Pastor of MCC-QC. Before that, he practiced law.

"I was an attorney first and then went into the ministry and I credit my children for helping me hear my call to the ministry, because they showed me the importance of really reaching people one-on-one and developing those relationships that transform lives," he explained.

That's still the goal - to literally bring the community together. Whether it's a same-sex marriage celebration, a vigil for the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings, or Standing United Against Hate with the group - One Human Family.

"He motivates people," said Larry Best, Rev. Hendricks' friend. "He gets them excited and really is a great leader."

Best said Rev. Hendricks' service is fundamental to the Quad City Area and that's why he nominated him for the Jefferson Award.

"I can't imagine MCC-QC or the greater faith community without Rich Hendricks," said Best.

"I have an optimistic view of human nature," explained Rev. Hendricks. "Deep down, we're all pretty good and we want to do well and do good and sometimes we need a little nudge in that direction or we need to be reminded that the spirit of love is there and so the more that we can come together, the more we can accomplish together, too."

He knows that his work is not done. Instead, it's getting even more important.

"We need to stand up for the environment," said Rev. Hendricks. "We need to stand up for civil rights, for people - whoever they are. Unfortunately, we've seen an increase in hate incidents, not only nationally, but even in the Quad Cities Area and that's not good and so we need to come together as a people and let folks know that this is a welcoming community and a place where we practice love."

For more information on the Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad Cities, click here.

For more information on One Human Family, click here.

The Jefferson Awards

It's all about the people who are changing our community. For the third season, WQAD News 8 and Genesis Health System are bringing you eight local nominees of the Jefferson Award. The Jefferson Awards Foundation is a prestigious national recognition system honoring community and public volunteerism in America, or as well call them, "unsung heroes." On the last Tuesday of every month, WQAD News 8 will announce one nominee. Then, in Spring 2017, one of the eight will represent the Quad Cities in Washington, D.C. at the National Jefferson Awards Ceremony.

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