Navigators - Compton, CA

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Mike & Tonya Herman

community ministers | community advocates

About Us

We are Mike & Tonya Herman, community faciliators, community ministers, urban missionaries, or anything else you'd like to call us!

We love God and the community He has placed us in. Since 1993, we have the prilividge to live and serve in the Compton/Los Angeles area and we believe we have probably the best job in the world (most days)!

We serve as community ministers to help see personal, community and spiritual development happen here in our city.

Compton?

Yes, that Compton!  We love our city! Compton is internationally known because of movies and rap music depicting modern American inner-city life. Compton is infamous for birthing "Gangsta' rap" and the Bloods gang, for drive-by shootings, for drugs, for staying on the "Most Dangerous Cities in America list"…in general it's a place people want to stay far-away from.

OUR STORY

The summer of 1990 is when we first met each other while serving as urban ministry interns with Here's Life Inner City in New York City. HLIC's Summer in the City project was our first real exposure to serving the poor from a holistic, biblical approach. It was then clear to us that God was calling us to the city on a permanent basis. The following year, we helped staff the first Summer in the City project in Los Angeles and were married the summer of 1992. In January of 1993, we joined the staff team of Here's Life Inner City- Los Angeles, the urban ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.

We served as Los Angeles City Directors with Here’s Life Inner City (HLIC) from July 2000 to May 2008. We have been on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ since 1992. We have two children, Sydney and Zachary and have lived in Compton since 1998.

Prior to taking the role of Director, Mike served as the Short Term Ministry Opportunity Director as well as serving in the Compton S.A.Y. Yes! Center for Youth Development. At the Center, Mike coordinated the UP (Unlimited Potential) Program for junior and senior high students. The UP Program facilitated two student-run businesses, entrepreneurship training, computer skills classes, leadership development and college prepatory training.The summer of 1990 is when we first met each other serving as urban ministry interns with Here's Life Inner City in New York City. HLIC's Summer in the City project was our first real exposure to serving the poor from a holistic, biblical approach. It was then clear to us that God was calling us to the city on a permanent basis. The following year, we helped staff the first Summer in the City project in Los Angeles and were married the summer of 1992. In January of 1993, we joined the staff team of Here's Life Inner City- Los Angeles, the urban ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.

Tonya became the Senior Staff mentor and trainer in Los Angeles.She helped create and faciliate our Human Resources department and specialized in discipling young urban women.She has had a profound impact on many lives since we have lived and served here.

Before coming to HLIC, Mike led urban after-school programs as well as interned with the Gang Intervention Unit in the City of Chino, California. Mike graduated with a Bachelors degree in Social Work in 1992 from Cal Poly, Pomona.Tonya graduated with a BA in Children and Family Studies from Purdue University.

In 2011, God led us to The Navigators, an international, interdenominational Christian ministry established in 1933, very similar to Campus Crusade.  They desire “to know Christ and make Him known.”  Like Crusade, they are most widely known for their college ministry.

Once at The Navigators, we created Metro Community Development Corporation as our local ministry. Our team is working towards a full implementation of holistic community development here in Compton.  We are specifically targeting youth, families, leadership, economics and connecting churches.

Our main strategies are;

  • BAM - Business as Mission- Entrepreneurial/Business development that creates jobs, has positive social impact and is sustainable
  • Whole-life Discipleship
  • Leadership Development
  • ABCD - Asset-based Community Development
  • Partnerships with People, Churches, Organizations and Businesses


So together with the four other families of Metro Community Development Corporation we are focusing on helping rebuild the walls both physically and spiritually, of our city.

In all this change, Tonya continues to invest her life in many emerging urban leaders and trains church and ministry leaders in understanding the cultural framework of poverty.