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History

TMM’s HISTORY

  • 1962 – TMM was founded under the name of Voice of Calvary by John Perkins
  • 1963 – Artis Fletcher became a Christian under Perkins’ early ministry
  • 1964 – Dolphus Weary became a Christian under Perkins’ early ministry
  • 1968 – TMM was instrumental in establishing a cooperative store in the community to assist the poor in purchasing quality food and clothes
  • 1971 – Dolphus Weary became Director of the Ministry in Mendenhall and John Perkins concentrated his efforts on traveling and fund raising
  • 1974 – Artis Fletcher became full-time pastor of Mendenhall Bible Church
  • 1975 – Ministry built the R. J. Buckley Christian Center (gymnasium) to serve recreational needs of the community.
  • 1976 – TMM established the Mendenhall Cooperative Health Center. Today, under the name of the Family Health Center, it provides quality health services to over 11,000 low-income patients annually.
  • 1977 – Ministry established the first kindergarten in Simpson County; later developed into an elementary school serving Nursery 3 through 3rd grade, Genesis One Christian School (GOCS)
  • 1978 – Ministry in Mendenhall became a separate entity from the ministry in Jackson
  • 1981 – The name of the ministry in Mendenhall was changed from Voice of Calvary to The Mendenhall Ministry
  • TMM purchased and developed 120 acres of land into a farm providing nutritional food for people in the area. The farm also serves to encourage local landowners to utilize farming to subsidize their incomes and as an educational laboratory for students at GOCS and the local public schools
  • 1982 – Organized a Board of Directors and first overall audit was conducted.  Became a member of the Evangelical Council on Financial Accountability (ECFA) – a National Christian financial accountability organization TMM established and opened the Community Law Office (CLO) to address the legal needs of the poor and under-served. The Law Office has played a key role in addressing systemic issues of racial, social, and economic inequity. In addition to individual cases, CLO took on and won the following Class Action Cases:
    1. On behalf of Black educators in Simpson County, sued Simpson County Board of Education for unequal pay, racial hiring practices, zone jumping; Discrimination Case, 1981
    2. On behalf of the elderly, uneducated, and misinformed, sued a mortgage company finance company and a home improvement contractor for misrepresenting themselves and taking advantage of customers, 1994
    3. Sued the Simpson County Jail for poor treatment of inmates
    4. Simpson County Jail Case of 1979 is still under court order
    5. Voting Rights Case against the City of D’Lo, Mississippi, 1979/1980
    6. Challenged the City of Mendenhall, Mississippi on the sharing of federal funds with the Black community – City of Mendenhall ordered to place fire hydrant on streets in Black community, 1979/1980
    7. CLO also served as advocates for children –attorneys represented youth defendants, served as Guardian ad Litem for children and represented children in domestic disputes
  • 1989 – TMM began the implementation of the Pastors Development Ministry, (PDM), which targeted ministers in the southeast region of the United States. The aim of the program is to train pastors in holistic community development with emphasis on family development. PDM is responsible for training over 500 pastors.
  • 1991 – Received the 541st Daily Point of Light from former president George H. W. Bush
  • 1999 – Timothy Keys became TMM’s third President
  • 2000 – Volunteer Center renovations completed
  • 2001 – TMM began a community-based, comprehensive family support program in Simpson County
  • 2002 – TMM facilitated the construction of a 31-unit HUD Elderly Housing Complex
  • 2004 – Daryl Thigpen becomes fourth president of TMM
  • 2004 – Genesis One Christian School is extended to 12th grade with a boys’ prep high school basketball team
  • 2007 – Ernestine Skiffer becomes interim president of TMM
  • 2008 – GOCS discontinues high school
  • 2010 – Derek L. Lane becomes 5th president of TMM

The Mendenhall Ministries, (TMM), is the social outreach arm of the Mendenhall Bible Church, (MBC), a non-denominational, predominantly black church located in Mendenhall Mississippi.  Though a ministry of MBC, TMM was separately incorporated as a non-profit 501(C)(3) tax-exempt corporation in 1981, and is governed by a national board of directors.

The Mendenhall Ministries exists to demonstrate the love of Christ to at-risk individuals and families through meeting and/or addressing their spiritual, social, intellectual, economic and physical needs and to facilitate reconciliation in the body of Christ.

Beginning in the 1960’s, under the name of Voice of Calvary Ministries, (VOC), the ministry was started out of a concern about the appalling conditions faced by the poor black community in this rural Mississippi area.  The vision attracted other concerned people, and grew into a ministry known for providing progressive local leadership within the community to address problems of poor housing, segregated and unequal education, lack of employment opportunities, and lack of capital-trapping institutions within the black community.  In recognition of a job well done, former President George W. Bush presented TMM with the number 541 Daily Point of Light Aware in 1991.

Over the past 48 years TMM has facilitated the development of a 120-acre farm, a Christian school-GOCS, the first Head Start program in the county, the Simpson County Land Fund, a recreation center, a thrift store, a law office, a health center, low-income housing, and elderly housing. TMM also developed and operated the Pastors Development Ministry and a youth leadership development program. These community institutions and programs not only provide services to the local population in Simpson and surrounding Counties, but also serve as models for other communities to learn from.  Through its volunteer ministry, over 1,000 individuals representing over 30 organizations, nation-wide, are exposed to Christian community development annually. Many of these individuals return to their communities and replicate what they see and learn at TMM. The following ministries are among those that were developed using TMM as their model:

  • Lawndale Community Church Ministry, Chicago, IL
  • Voice of Hope Ministries, Dallas, TX
  • Emerald City Outreach Ministries, Seattle WA
  • Neighborhood Ministries, Denver CO
  • Mt. Olive Ministries, Mt. Olive, MS
  • Alfa & Omega Academy, Morton, MS
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