More than 50 years ago, Zion Baptist Church's pastor, the Rev. Leon Sullivan, the "Lion of Zion," created a roaring economic engine designed to empower African Americans through self-help, job training, and community investment.
These days, no one would describe one of the pillars of Sullivan's vision, the Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center, as roaring.
Floors in OIC's five-story building on North Broad Street, which once housed OIC programs, are leased to tenants, including two charter schools, and there's plenty of space on the main floor OIC occupies.
Only 48 students are enrolled in OIC's trademark hospitality training program. Revenues of $1.8 million, reported in 2013, are just over half of what they were even a few years ago.
"We have work to do," said OIC's new director, the Rev. Kevin R. Johnson. He started Jan. 5.
Johnson, 40, left his job as pastor of Philadelphia's landmark Bright Hope Baptist Church in October. His departure was marked by glowing tributes from congregants but also complaints from some who said they had been rebuffed when seeking financial information.
"We passed out the general ledger," Johnson said in a recent interview.
He said that whatever complaints there were did not deter OIC's board from selecting him for the job. In fact, he said, his performance at Bright Hope is probably what prompted his hiring.
He said the church grew by 1,200 during his tenure, which began in 2007. Particularly, he spearheaded a Sullivan-like partnership between the church and private developers to build student housing on the site of a nearby former school.
"God was preparing me for OIC," Johnson said.
Johnson said OIC's biggest challenge is raising money, but he said he brings a bold vision to the task.
"I really see this as restoring the vision that Dr. Sullivan had in 1964," Johnson said.
Johnson's organization is the Philadelphia branch of OIC - related to, but separate from, OIC International, which was also started by Sullivan. He died in 2001.
Outside Johnson's office, the smell of braising lamb wafted through the corridors. Hospitality food service students in chefs' whites hovered over pots in a commercial kitchen.
Nearby, Frederick Waring, 24, of South Philadelphia, stood attentively behind a mock hotel registration desk. His goal? "Hopefully to become a manager in a hotel," Waring said.
Nearly a million dollars - the bulk of OIC's funding - comes from the city's hotel tax. Johnson said most graduates from OIC's program get jobs in the city's hospitality industry.
Johnson said he also wants to build a technology training program and expand on Keyspots, part of the city's digital literacy program, housed at OIC.
Underemployment is a focus. "People are working, [but] not reaching their full potential," Johnson said.
Johnson recently began Dare to Imagine, a church at 38th and Market Streets. "I've been preaching since I was 16 years old," he said.