My associate Frankie Caldwell and I, one specific Tuesday night, but the Bridge Ministry shares God’s bounty with homeless citizens and anyone else who showed up. These bountiful blessings of human kindness take place every Tuesday night, under the Jefferson St Bridge. It all began in 2004, when Bridge Ministry Founder & President Candy Christmas began taking pots of Jambalaya down under the bridge to feed the homeless. She saw that other needs could be served so she began to collect personal hygiene items and clothing to give out. Between the hot meals once a week, non perishable items and her warm spirit, the ministry caught like wildfire and grew. To this date the ministry has grown to a much higher level, but the basic impact still remains.
Candy and her on point team manage the long lines, crowds and the pets that show up too. Even if it sounds like they operate together as a well oiled machine, it’s still a thriving ministry evening. Before anything is shared with their guest, Bridge Ministry staff leader opens with word of prayer. Our visit allowed us to witness humility in its finest form. Chief Operating Officer Blake Parks lead the prayer. Lady Christmas filtered in and out of the crowd seamlessly, welcoming everyone. She told them” If no one has told you that I love you today, I love you.” She also passed out some of that genuine love with her beautiful new granddaughter. A family oriented, giving and atmosphere radiated from one end of the bridge to the other. Candy Christmas is an award winning world class veteran singer, who knows of life’s unforeseen strife first hand.
She has an amazing testimony and is married to husband Ken and in their spare time Like clockwork, every foot, voice and noise cease and heads are hung to honor the prayer. Praise and worship follows and life under the bridge takes on a whole other good meaning. The praise and worshippers are from area churches around Nashville and beyond.
A hearty hot tasty meal is served and the bevy of volunteers hustles to organize personal hygiene, perishable, food and misc items to pass out. It’s the most unique church service and outdoor ministry this writer has ever seen.
The evening just kept getting better as the praise team continued using their gift of song, emotions flowed as the spirit of God stepped in.
Canned goods, fruits, bakery items, vegetables, bottles of water, new blankets and more were given out. A new bicycle was raffled off and a fortunate homeless person had their transpiration restored or upgraded.
The Bridge Ministry is a 501 © 3 organizations that actually has headquarters at a separate location in Nashville. As the evening came to an end, some homeless citizens (and others) literally had to drag their heavy gifts of food, new clothing items, and more away with renewed energy.
Of course the services come complete with a speaker delivering the message. Our Tuesday bringing forth of the word was Author/Speaker Deborah Stricklin. Lady Stricklin uplifts the lives of others via her testimony and her Deborah Stricklin Ministries. Kudos to Burton Garr, Blake Shelton, Dawn Murphy and Delores Crabtree Leftrick for going the extra mile with us. It was a life changing, eye opening wonderful experience for us. We will definitely return to fellowship with them again.
For more information see the website, http://www. bridgeministry.org/