By Judie Holcomb-Pack, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Crisis Control Ministry
Crisis Control Ministry reached a 40-year milestone in April 2013 and will mark the end of its 40th year with a Music & Worship Service on November 3. The story of how it reached this achievement began in downtown Winston-Salem the early 1970s.
At that time it had become apparent to the religious leaders of the Downtown Church Center that people in need of emergency assistance presented a challenge which churches, acting separately, were unable to meet. Congregations and their staffs could not respond effectively to the increasing requests for aid. Other agencies, both public and private, administered funds that were restricted by inflexible eligibility criteria. People in crisis were faced with the overwhelming and discouraging task of determining where to turn for help.
In 1973, Crisis Control Ministry was formed to establish a comprehensive system of response to the emergency needs of people in Forsyth County. The Ministry opened its doors on April 4, 1973, at 930 Patterson Avenue, with a budget of $64,000, which was provided by local churches and a grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Poor and Needy Trust.
Fast forward 40 years. Crisis Control Ministry’s budget is now $2.4 million. In their last fiscal year, Crisis Control Ministry assisted over 21,000 people with rent/mortgage and utility payments, nourishing groceries, and prescription medications from their free pharmacy, touching the lives of one of every 24 people in Forsyth County. Now located at 200 E. Tenth Street, the Ministry just completed a capital campaign which will allow for remodeling of the client services area, expanded food pantry and pharmacy, and a new food warehouse to take the place of trailers currently being used for storage.
In early 2013, a committee was formed to plan a celebration of Crisis Control’s 40th anniversary. About the same time, the music directors of two of the founding churches, Dr. Michael Dodds, Director of Traditional Worship at First Presbyterian Church, and Dr. Robert Frazier, Director of Music at Centenary United Methodist Church, were discussing having a downtown choral festival. The anniversary committee and these music directors decided to join forces to hold a Music & Worship Service to celebrate Crisis Control’s 40th Anniversary in the Fall.
Dr. Dodds had completed one part of a four-part symphonic composition, “Psalm 145,” and agreed to finish it in time for the celebration. Dr. Frazier had written an anthem, “Prayer for Unity,” that he thought would complement the symphonic piece by Dr. Dodds.
Over the next ten months, a magnificant celebration has come together to include members of 13 choirs and choral groups, members of the NC Black Repertory Company’s “Crowns,” and a 70-piece orchestra. The program will also include a spoken word piece by Nigel Alston, stories of hope from Crisis Control clients, with a reception following the service. It promises to be an evening of inspiring music and uplifting words to honor Crisis Control’s 40 years of service to the community.
The community is cordially invited to join us in this wonderful celebration.
What: Community Music and Worship Celebration
When: Sunday, November 3, 2013
Where: Centenary United Methodist Church, 646 West Fifth Street, Winston-Salem
Cost: Free, with a love offering accepted
For more information, go to www.crisiscontrol.org.
Crisis Control Ministry is Forsyth County’s largest emergency assistance provider, assisting people in a financial crisis with mortgage/rent payments, utility bills, nourishing groceries from their client choice food pantry, and prescription medications from their licensed free pharmacy. They are celebrating their 40th year serving the Forsyth County community. In the last fiscal year, they provided more than $5.4 million dollars in emergency assistance, serving more than 23,400 people.