Jason and Micah Tallent have spent their entire lives giving back to the communities that they’ve lived in, and now, Winthrop is on the receiving end of their big hearts.
Having been a pastor for 22 years, Jason, was convinced at an early age that he was meant to teach and help others. Micah, having always been involved in the church, had dreamed of moving to India to donate her time to helping those in need. The couple then found themselves themselves visiting New York on their 15th wedding anniversary.
From there, they began to explore areas of New England, and soon began asking the question, “where would we go to church if we lived here?”
Unlike the southern communities they have resided in where there is are nearly one church for every 205 people, and then they discovered that there was only one church for every 40,000 people in New England. Immediately they felt compelled to do more and follow their God-given intuition and with the help of other churches nationwide, they began to raise funds for their mission to open a church in the Boston area.
The couple, along with their five children, Olivia (20), Ethan (18), Olexis (16), Evan (9), and Olissa (5) sold the 20 acres of land and 5,000 square-foot house where they lived in Arkansas, and made the trek to Massachusetts with their belongings in a six by 10 foot trailer. For six months, they lived in Brookline, where they immersed themselves in the Boston area, exploring neighborhoods and stretches of the city every day.
“We walked eight miles a day on average, just getting to know different communities in the Boston area,” said Jason Tallent.
And then they met Joe Souza, an experienced church planter and pastor at Celebration Church in Charlestown. Souza instantly recommended that the Tallents check out Winthrop, knowing that it wasn’t a transient town and was filled with growing families. Following Souza’s advice, the Tallents introduced their five children to Winthrop on a weekend, which happened to be during the I Love Winthrop Fest in 2017.
“I immediately started asking residents what they loved about living in the town, and every single person I spoke to bragged about Winthrop,” said Jason Tallent. “And I thought, I’d love to move to a place where people love to live and brag about it.”
Not used to the fast-moving real estate market that is so prevalent in Winthrop, the Tallents found themselves purchasing a home with a small block of yard, in what felt like seconds. Coming from a part of the country where 1,200 people attended church on Sunday mornings to an area that has a limited amount of churches, was a bold step, but the Tallent family is committed to serving the town of Winthrop.
“We believe that one of the responsibilities of the church is to serve and administer the community,” said Jason Tallent, who, along with his family, instantly started attending community events and offering sports clinics for kids. “We want to serve Winthrop and the wonderful residents who live here.”
So far, the newly planted Harbor City Church, has gone from bible studies run out of the family’s home with six people, to services in the middle school gym with preview services that have drawn in a crowd of 40 people. They regularly attend community events offering popcorn and cotton candy and have formed groups to pick up trash in the beaches and parks. The family also plans on offering their help with Mi Amore, a local non-profit that provides food to struggling families.
“Harbor City Church has been a great asset to the recreation department this last year, said Director of Parks and Recreation, Sean Driscoll. “They have organized parks and beach clean ups this past July and August for us.”
“We would love to see the services grow,” said Jason, who hopes to assist with serving the community in any way he can. “Harbor City Church is a bible-believing church that accepts the word of God as changing people’s lives.”
The next service will be held at the old middle school gym, 151 Pauline St., on Dec. 23 at 6 p.m. Starting in January, Harbor City Church will meet every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. in the gym.