New Christian Service Facility to Have September Grand Opening

0917christianservice1

by Jane Snyder

The new Christian Service facility on Levy Street will have its grand opening on Wednesday, September 27, at 1:00 p.m. Please join Bishop Michael Duca and Mayor Ollie Tyler for this long awaited event.

In 1970, Fr. Murray Clayton brought Sr. Margaret McCaffrey to Shreveport. She rented an apartment in “The Bottoms” behind First United Methodist Church and realized that children were going to school hungry. Her mission to feed these children was the beginning of Christian Service.

Sr. Margaret grew the ministry through the 70s, 80s and 90s to serve those in our community who were living on the margins of our society, needing many different services. She fed thousands at the Hospitality House, provided clothing and emergency assistance, housed people recently released from prison, and housed women with children, repaired toys to give to children at Christmas, served volunteers at the Poor Man’s Supper and initiated the Christian Service Telethon.

Many think that Christian Service died when Sr. Margaret died in 1998, but that is not true. Fr. Andre McGrath, OFM, with the help of the Friars of St. John the Baptist, brought Brother Giovanni Reid to Shreveport in 1999, and since then the ministry has continued to serve 200 meals a day and provide clothing to many each month.

In 2013, Hope Connections, a collaboration of non-profits on Levy Street, whose goal is to end homelessness, asked Christian Service to become the food and clothing part of this amazing partnership. They offered to give Christian Service a 10,000 square foot building on their campus.

The Christian Service Board spent a year evaluating their ministry and chose to move forward taking the food, clothing and emergency assistance services to the new location.

In May of 2013, Christian Service hired Al Moore to be the new executive director and to take them through the process of fundraising and building the new facility.

The core mission of feeding the hungry has not changed, but the location to carry out the mission is changing. There is a need to address greater and greater numbers of people who are not only hungry, but homeless or on the brink of being homeless. Christian Service is moving to meet those needs.

Following 18 months of fundraising to renovate the 10,000 square foot warehouse, through the generous donations of many foundations and individuals, the groundbreaking for the new facility was held in September 2016.

The board of Christian Service looks forward to serving more clients at their new location.

They also hope to provide opportunities for more volunteers to be a part of the food and clothing ministries.

The board hopes that you will join them on September 27 at the new home of Christian Service at 2350 Levy Street in Shreveport at 1:00 p.m. to introduce this exciting new facility to the community.

Christian Service aims to help fulfill the request in Matthew 25 35:40, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>