“It was a dream seven years in the making,” says Pastor Joey Gentempo, Founder of His Father’s Heart Ministries. “It is still a little surreal that we’re standing in the building.”
On Thursday, September 16, 2021, His Father’s Heart Ministries opened the doors of its Redemptive Justice Center, at 2103 N. Main Street, just a few blocks from the Quitman / Near Northside METRO station.
The Redemptive Justice Center offers leased office space to complementing faith-based ministries that further the concept of redemptive justice. Each of the resident organizations serves a different need in the community. From formerly incarcerated men and women re-entering society to children in the foster care system, resident organizations at Redemptive Justice Center are working together for the community as a whole. “We will help each other become better than we were, if we were separate,” says Pastor Joey. “We will work together so that the men, women, and children will have access to healing, wholeheartedness, and life worth living really.”
What is now the realization of a dream seven years in the making nearly did not make it past the idea stage. “When COVID happened and everything was shut down, it was very difficult to think of a building where you would have people coming,” explains Pastor Joey. “I was just going to give up on the whole idea.” Prompted by the Holy Spirit, Pastor Joey gave the building’s owners a call and was elated to learn that they were determined to sell the building to His Father’s Heart because they wanted it to continue to serve the community. Thanks to support of donors and many individuals who facilitated the purchase, the Redemptive Justice Center quickly became a reality. Just seven weeks after approaching the owner, His Father’s Heart Ministries closed on the purchase of the building destined to become the Redemptive Justice Center.
“People have used the term redemptive justice before, but not in the context that we are using it,” points out Pastor Joey. He defines redemptive justice by explaining that punitive justice is “what we do to you,” restorative justice is “what we do for you,” while redemptive justice is “what Jesus does inside of you.” He emphasizes that both punitive justice and restorative justice are very much essential but that they both need to be complemented with redemptive justice. “When it’s done God’s way, it’s always transformational,” says Pastor Joey.
His Father’s Heart Ministries was founded to bring healing to the brokenhearted. Working as a jailer, Pastor Joey recognized that the prison system was a mission field. Inspired by the tearful Christmas wish of a little girl hoping to have her father home for Christmas, he founded His Father’s Heart Ministries to reunite families in a way that would offer transformational healing. “The key to that for me has been redemptive justice,” explains Pastor Joey. “It is what Jesus does inside, the transformation of the inner person, the healing of the brokenhearted, that gives people the opportunity to be what God created them to be.”