Inner Light Securing Space

Cheeks says congregation set to purchase permanent venue

by Yusef Najafi
Published on April 29, 2010, 4:20am | Comments

Inner Light Ministries hopes to close a deal on purchasing the space it has been using over the past year, at 1912 Q St. SE, says founder Bishop Rainey Cheeks.

For years the nondenominational organization had gathered at 908 H St. NE. Its current home in Southeast is owned by Mt. Olive Baptist Church. Cheeks is hoping to change that.

''Our congregation was growing and it was time to look into purchasing our own property,'' says Cheeks, who is gay.

Cheeks is hoping that when the purchase is complete, Inner Light Ministries will be able to have ''absolute control'' over meeting spaces and times for its programs catering to youth and the HIV/AIDS community.

''Having your own building, you have more access and availability. You can do a lot more things in the building.''

Cheeks describes Inner Light Ministries as an ''open and affirming'' congregation that teaches metaphysical principles and spiritual laws.

''We know that each person is on a road to enlightenment and we are all at different stages of transformation to becoming Christ,'' the group's website states.

''To do this, each person must take full responsibility for their own growth.''

It's a message that appeals to a wide range of people, Cheeks says.

''It's a mixed congregation of straight and gay, young and old. I always say we're not a traditional church because we embrace everybody that comes.''

For more information about Inner Light Ministries, visit innerlightministries-dc.org, or call 202-332-7750.