One street at a time: Local church launches outreach to bridge community gaps

One local church is taking to the streets – literally – to help meet needs and bridge gaps in the Chipley community.

On Saturday, July 31, Ambassadors of Christ Church hosted the first in a what will be a series of events to “adopt” a street. The free event included a cookout, music, fellowship, and connection to local resources.

Pastor Leonard Blount says the congregationÂ’s goal is to effect positive change by showing love, providing resources, and uniting the community. The church has already been delivering lunches in the area as part of the summer feeding program, but Blount says it is time for more.

Anderson Street was first up on the churchÂ’s “adoption” plans, an idea the pastor says came to him after seeing lingering issues on the street during the Fourth of July holiday. In recent years, the City of Chipley has dealt with fireworks being intentionally shot at individuals and vehicles. This year, Blount and other local clergy partnered with the City of Chipley to help minimize that behavior. 

“We helped monitor Anderson Street this Fourth of July,” said Pastor Blount. “We were glad to stand in the gap for our youth, work with our police department, and deter youthful actions that could have led to injuries and preventable arrests.”

Blount says that weekend served to reveal a bigger need in the community.

“We want to help with street clean-up and information flow that will share the latest health and educational concerns, as well as economic projects that will make a strong and united neighborhood,” he said. “It’s time to practice the love we preach. We’re going to do it one street at a time.”

Other goals include connecting those in need to resources such as daycare, grocery delivery, and a variety of counseling services – and simply “letting them know someone cares.”

Blount went from door to door during SaturdayÂ’s event to invite residents to join the church and community and get to know their neighbors.

Collectively known as “Triple Anointing,” Blount’s daughters – Jiranda White, Zanika Blount, and Ebony Garner – entertained those in attendance of the event with their gospel vocal stylings.

Zanika Blount says the community outreach symbolizes a basic foundation for a larger mission.

“It starts at home, and I am my brother’s keeper,” she said. “We need to start in the family, the family that is our church and community. I believe if we can build a better church, we can build a better community. If we can build a better community, we can build a better nation. This is the first step.”

To learn how more about outreach efforts by Ambassadors of Christ Church, call 850-260-5078. 

Ambassadors of Christ Church is located in Room 11 of the T.J. Roulhac Enrichment and Activity Center, 651 Pecan Street in Chipley.