Categories: Pastors Blog
For years the communities of faith in Marshall and surrounding areas have dreamed of having a “one-stop shop” where individuals in need could come and receive a faith based “hand-up”. The barriers that prevented previous efforts to accomplish this have been crossed and Mission Marshall is being birthed into our community. I have been blessed to be on the board that has worked over the last year to see Mission Marshall become a reality. Mission Marshall is located at the NW corner of Washington and Pinecrest (2109 S. Washington). The building most recently held the Family Life Outreach Center. It is now the home of Mission Marshall.
There is no denying that our community is in need, 68% of our school aged children qualify for reduced or free lunch program, 30% of our adult population did not finish high school, 25% of our community live below the poverty level of $15,000 per year. The list goes on, 15% of adults in Harrison county do not have Basic Prose Literacy Skills, individuals who lack BPLS are unable to read the newspaper, or other basic information publications. These numbers alone are startling, but combine them with the decrease of local and federal funds that we have become dependent on, and it means the church must assume some responsibility for these needs. Mission Marshall is not designed to be a place for a simple “hand-out”. The vision of Mission Marshall is to develop a community effort including churches and other needs based ministries that align with our core beliefs to come alongside persons in need, connecting them with appropriate services and building relationships for the purposes of personal development and spiritual transformation.
Mission Marshall’s core value is as follows:
- Ministering to the whole person – physical, spiritual, social, and emotional
- Relating in dignity by compassionately walking alongside persons in need.
- Empowering by breaking the cycle of poverty.
- Empowering the Church to minister.
- Cooperating with church and community for the sake of transformation.
Mission Marshall will soon house the Faith Clinic where individuals will receive basic medical care free of charge, as well as a ministry to women called Dressed for Success. The Food Pantry will also be moving into the new location soon. Doretha Hicks is a wonderful and godly woman who has been working as director of Mission Marshall over the last two months, she is a blessing. I cannot wait for you to meet her. She will be here at Crossroads on Friday, March 23 for the benefit concert you saw announced on the front page. Please plan to attend and lend your support to this worthy endeavor.
(The statistics included in this article can be found in a “Community Assessment Report: compiled Emily Prevost, Interim Director of Great Commission Center at ETBU, in 2011.)