Church opens outreach center on Sunset Lane
By BRITTANY FHOLER
A newly renovated red-and-cream painted apartment building is now the Jesus Name Apostolic Ministry Community Outreach Center located on Sunset Lane just around the corner from the Mickey’s Convenience Store on Georgetown Road and a block from the Jesus Name Apostolic Ministry on Casa Drive.
David J. Davis and his wife, Ann Davis, opened the 1,400 square-foot community center located at 502 Sunset Lane in May, the week before Memorial Day, in commemoration with the 15th anniversary of their church, which has a location on Casa Drive and also in Killeen at 300 W. Hallmark Ave.
“The vision is going to end with us building a new church from the ground up,” Davis said. “What we try to do is stay out of debt, because we’re independent, you know. We just do it as we get the money.”
This is why the community center has been slow to open, she said. They need funds to buy the playground and play equipment they want for the children who will be coming to the center.
The church first bought the fire-damaged building for $10,000 more than two years ago, according to David Davis. He did most of the renovation work himself with help from others here and there, he said. He first started on the building a year and a half ago. Nearly everything in the building is used, with the exception of the floors, some of the cabinets and the light over the stove. Davis said he got everything else from the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Killeen or from Craigslist.
The bottom floor has a large meeting space, with a large conference table that Davis said he had been storing for years, before the idea of the community center ever existed; there is also a small kitchen area. Upstairs are more rooms and bathrooms. Each room has a projector screen and tables. There are also two fenced in backyards.
Ann said they saw the need for the community center from helping people at their church.
“We saw a great need,” Davis said. They had many people from nearby stop by and ask for help with bills, whether it was a dollar or $20, and noticed that often, it was the same people stopping by each time.
“We always give them a dollar here or two there,” Davis said. “We said ‘Hey, this is not going to help them for very long.’ They need something that is going to stabilize them and that is only going to be a change of mind.”
That was when they decided to open a community center where people can stop by for help but also have the opportunity to be invited to the Women’s Bible study they have Wednesday afternoons as well as church services on Sundays. If parents don’t wish to come, though, their children are welcome to come to the center in the afternoons on certain days for movies and story time or for games and fun.
“I just wanted to do something besides church because most people very seldom will probably stop by the church but they will stop by the community center,” David Davis said.
Both David and his wife Ann spoke of the bad reputation that Sunset Lane has had over the years and how they are trying to change it.
Ann explained that Sunset has a bad name from bad people who have moved away but now has lots of good people living there, many of whom do so because the rent is so affordable. Her husband pointed out that there are more families with children living on Sunset.
“It’s not as bad as it was…a few years ago,” he said. “It’s cleaned up quite a bit, so that’s what we’re trying to do, keep it cleaned up. And I think by having this community center out here with the church’s name on it too, it kinda helps.”
Ann explained that they want to build a community in the area that would make it affordable for people who are low income and “need not a second chance but another chance.”
The center currently is open on Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. for a women’s Bible study and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for Youth Sunday School and a free breakfast.
Starting tomorrow, July 5, the community center will be open 1 p.m.-5 p.m. for the first movie and story time. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., there will be more activities put on by the Youth Director.
“We want to try to hurry up and get something in place since they’re out of school and introduce some fun for them while learning about Jesus,” Davis said. If the parents are comfortable, they would also have the option to leave their children in the care of the church volunteers during these activities and would be able to go run errands, Davis said.
They also plan on setting up a computer lab where people can use the computers to fill out job applications or check their emails and such. The center can also be rented out for parties and meetings, with details determined on a case by case basis. For more information on the center, contact Ann Davis at (254) 371-8596