Ever wondered what BridgeBuilders does? Curious about what distinguishes poverty relief from poverty alleviation? Inquired as to how Michael Craven keeps such an impeccably groomed beard? Ask us your questions about Christianity, culture, and poverty and we’ll answer them via Facebook Live on the evening of March 8. This is an excellent opportunity to get to know BridgeBuilders more intimately as we bring to bear over two decades of gospel-proclaiming, poverty-fighting work.
If you happened to be at Turner Courts Gym recently, while the BridgeBuilders KIDS After-School program was underway, you might have noticed Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive end, Michael David Johnson coaching the boys on the basketball court. At 6-feet-7 inches and 280 pounds, he’s frankly hard to miss!
As a young seminarian, Ronnie was tasked with reaching the lost in Bonton. In doing so, Ronnie conceived of the most effective outreach effort this ministry has ever seen: “Ballin’ & Bible.” Through basketball, Ronnie was able to attract a large number of men from the community every Monday night where he would serve as “pastor.”
In 2017 we were blessed by the faithful support of nearly 350 volunteers, all of whom together donated more than 1300 hours of service. The fact is, we could not effectively serve the number of people that we do each year were it not for this small army of dedicated volunteers.
Last weekend, BridgeBuilders’ awesome Director of MISSIONS, Josh Conner, was invited to train a group of Frisco Bible Church students who will be serving with BridgeBuilders in South Dallas over Spring Break. The students were equipped with a highly effective evangelism and discipleship tool called the “4-1-1.”
The Reverend James Williams is the Senior Pastor of Starlight Bethel Missionary Baptist Church on Cedar Crest in South Dallas, where he has served for the last 39 years.
At 75, Rev. Williams has more energy than most 20-year-olds!
Ever since Richard Mauldin walked through our doors seven years ago, Texas Capital Bank has been a valuable partner in Making Poverty History.
Texas Capital Bank has a strong commitment to helping communities prosper. They do this by reinvesting in the communities they serve and by supporting programs such as BridgeBuilders that offer adult and financial literacy training in poor communities.
In light of BridgeBuilders’ dramatic achievements in the area of urban missions and poverty alleviation under Michael’s leadership, Michael was invited to join the Acton Institute as a Regular Contributor, offering subject-matter expertise on urban missions, poverty, and race.
Regina Suttle, Director of Events
How long have you been serving with BridgeBuilders? Over 14 years! I was volunteering with BridgeBuilders before I came on staff 6 years ago.
If catechism is unfamiliar to you, you shouldn’t be too surprised since it is not as commonly used in the Church today as it was in the past. The word catechism comes from the Greek word (katecheo), found in the New Testament, which simply means to teach, especially when the instructor is speaking face-to-face with the students.
BridgeBuilders has been working closely with the Movement Day Greater Dallas leadership in preparation for the 2018 Movement Day Greater Dallas Conference. This year’s conference will be held February 24 at Dallas Baptist University,starting at 8:00 am and concluding at 1:00 pm.
The mission of Movement Day Greater Dallas (MDGD) is to unite the body of Christ around a common purpose in order to achieve measurable progress against the greatest spiritual, social, and humanitarian challenges facing the city. If you are concerned about the welfare of your city, MDGD is an opportunity for you to come together and collaborate with Christians from across the Metroplex.
Recently one of our allies was paired up with Callene, a student in our work training program. At BridgeBuilders, every student that enters our Life Skills and Vocational Training program is offered the option of being partnered with an Ally, what we used to call a mentor. Our Allies are trained volunteers who meet at our offices in West Dallas over lunch once-a-week for three weeks while students complete the program. Allies offer vital support and encouragement to our students, like Callene, as they navigate the often-turbulent road to self-sufficiency.
There is a lot happening at BridgeBuilders and we don't want for you to miss a moment. The best way to keep up with us is on social media. You can share content and interact with us. This helps more people see what's going on. Click to visit each page, and follow us to see how, together, we’re Making Poverty History in our city.
Name: Pakeebea Cummings
BridgeBuilders Title: Urban Missionary
Favorite part about job: Being able to serve my community.
Favorite Dallas team: Dallas Cowboys for sure.
Dinner with anyone: my grandmother. We would eat soul food because she was a picky eater. She didn’t even like pizza!
Dream job: I have always loved the thought of being in business management/being an entrepreneur.
Chick-fil-A is a favorite of the BridgeBuilders staff and not just because of their amazing chicken biscuits! We love Chick-fil-A because they are the real deal. When two different franchise owners, Cody Northen and Vanessa Bales, came to us, we knew this was the perfect partnership. Both Cody and Vanessa see their businesses as platforms for ministry. They attended a WORK graduation and couldn’t help but get involved.
The Irving franchise, owned by Cody, donated food for all nine WORK graduations last year (that’s about 400 meals!) and even nominated us for the Chick-fil-A Foundation True Inspiration Award, a national award that includes a generous financial grant.
Since November, three students in BridgeBuilders KIDS After-School Program have been setting the bar at JJ Rhodes Elementary School. Mikayla, Derriya, and Chosan were selected as ‘Student of the Month’ in their respective classes because of their character and exemplary leadership. These are virtues taught in the KIDS After-School program every day and we are so proud of their leadership in class.
In an effort to educate Christians on the many facets of modern poverty; what it is; what it isn’t, and how the gospel can solve it; BridgeBuilders is publishing the Making Poverty History Series, a collection of short essays that will soon be available in booklet form.
These small booklets, written by Michael Craven, are designed to correct the many misconceptions surrounding modern poverty in the U.S. and its root causes.
Recently, Daris Lee, a community leader in Bonton, joined his friend and our president, Michael Craven, when he spoke at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas.
Michael introduced Daris after sharing some of his story so that the audience could glimpse the severe social, cultural and spiritual disadvantages of growing up in South Dallas. Daris, like so many in South Dallas, was born to a young single mother; a 14-year-old to be precise. As a result, his childhood was filled with extreme unpredictability and little to no guidance.
Name: Marilyn “Bird” Kimbrough
Title: KIDS Turner Courts Coordinator
Loves about her job: “I love getting to know the children. Their personalities, what they love, and how they are each so different!”
Favorite Dallas Sports Team: The old classic Dallas Cowboys - when they were good!
Who would you have dinner with anyone who would it be?: Eddie Murphy – I love Eddie!
Dream: I would LOVE to be a comedian
Collin County District Attorney, Greg Willis has launched a visionary initiative in Collin County called a “Diversion Program.” The Diversion Program is a voluntary program for an offender charged with a criminal offense. Offenders who complete the program may avoid prosecution and potential conviction for their charge. The Diversion Program only accepts certain types of criminal offenses, and each referral must go through an assessment prior to being accepted into the program. Once accepted into the program, a contract will list the specific requirements and obligations for each offender.