Simply put, we believe that we are better together.

 
 
 
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There are over 800 churches in Metro Richmond with over a half million regular attenders.

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Imagine the impact we could have if we knew each other and worked together.

 
 
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Our Mission

For Richmond is a nonprofit organization that connects and equips Christian leaders to collaborate for the transformation of Metro Richmond. We help unite churches and communities behind issues that are larger than any one organization can tackle. We cultivate the space and focus for individuals to have greater impact through unity of vision and resources.

 

 
 
 

Our Story

For Richmond began in 2009 under the name BlessRVA with a focus on helping pastors build relationships across racial and denominational divides. In 2017, we began asking Christian leaders what is beautiful about our community and what is broken? We wanted to know where churches were working together - not just to proclaim the good news of Christ, but also to demonstrate the love of Christ.

This process brought to light issues that cities across the country struggle with: divisions of race, denomination, generation and geography. Nonprofits and churches were doing great things, but they were doing them in silos.

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The community lacked the connectivity, communication and collaboration that would allow for the impact they desired. There wasn’t a shared vision for how all of Metro Richmond might flourish.
 
 
 
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In August of 2017, we got a glimpse of this unity after the violent public display of racism and white supremacy at the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville. In the days that followed, 900 Richmond pastors and ministry leaders came together with one voice to state that all people are created in the image of God. The document, called the Richmond Pastors Statement, was widely covered in local media. It was a moment of unity that transcended the lines that so often divide us.

Diverse leaders found common ground and pledged to preach, teach and advocate against the sin of racism. In that moment, the Church became an important leader for healing during this culturally significant moment.

 
 
 

It made us wonder, what more could churches do together in Richmond?

 
 
 
 
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For Richmond believes in the power of our collective efforts to impact real change in our region.

 
 
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who we are

 
 
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Matt Shenk

CO-DIRECTOR

It is Matt’s conviction that Christians should be known and thought of by how they love others and how they work to ease the burdens of the people in their cities who are hurting. He believes that too often we focus on our differences, and that keeps us from working together to focus on the many more things that we agree upon.

Matt’s business background includes working for both technology start-ups and a Fortune 500 company in New York City. 16 years ago, Matt and his wife Anna left the corporate world to begin full-time ministry. They moved into an under-resourced neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY where Matt mentored at-risk youth, helped churches set up and run community programs, and later began to work with pastors and ministry leaders across New York City to connect and unite churches to better love and serve their city.

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Anna Shenk

CO-DIRECTOR

Anna believes that Christ has the power not only to transform individual lives but to transform entire institutions, neighborhoods and cities. She is passionate about living out the gospel in both word and deed and helping others to do the same.

In 2003, Anna left her work in Public Relations in New York City to join the Inner City ministry of Cru. For over a decade she was part of a variety of Community Development initiatives in Central Brooklyn, as well as helping with church planting. She served two terms as Vice Chair of the Community Education Council for District 16, working on educational equity for students in Title I schools.

In 2016, she and her husband Matt returned to Richmond, Virginia to serve as collaborative leaders that bring churches, community leaders and others together to meet the city’s deepest needs. They were asked to lead BlessRVA, now For Richmond, in 2017.

Anna and Matt have been married for 17 years and have two children who attend Richmond Public Schools. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.

 
 
 

 
 
 
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Our Co-Founders

For Richmond was founded as BlessRVA in 2009 by James Anderson and Don Coleman with a focus on helping pastors build relationships across racial and denominational divides.

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Don Coleman

Pastor, East End Fellowship

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James Anderson

M.D., Physician, Chesterfield Family Practice

 

 

Our Team of Advisors

 
 
 

 
 
 

Find out how you can help transform Richmond: