History of C.E.N.T.E.R. Ministries
The volunteer work that is now being performed by CENTER began unofficially in 2002, when members of Pines Presbyterian Church ("Pines") began mentoring elementary school students at Sherwood Elementary School, then a predominately Hispanic school in the Spring Branch Independent School District. Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the neighborhood became even more diverse, with an African-American population moving into the apartments in the community. While less than two miles from Pines, the students and their parents are worlds away economically
Pines initially sponsored a neighborhood ministry where a married couple on Pines' staff lived in an apartment complex and interacted as neighbors in the community. In 2007, a storefront was leased in the neighborhood where volunteers provided after-school companionship and supervised activities for all ages. A Bible study program was introduced shortly thereafter. This storefront became known as "The Center," which was an acronym created by Mark Trotter, a member of Pines, standing for Community Enhancement Networking Through Evangelical Resources. Initially, volunteers at the storefront were members of Pines, but other congregations and organizations provided materials and/or volunteers.
Mr. Trotter next envisioned an evening Bible study on Tuesday nights for the middle- and high school age boys that visited The Center. Pines' provided its kitchen and fellowship hall for these studies. Pines' basketball court was also a prime attraction. This Boys' Bible Study at Pines continued after the storefront lease expired in 2008, and was expanded to include a Girls' Bible Study in 2009. While Pines continued to support these Bible studies and other youth activities for residents of apartments in the Sherwood neighborhood, other volunteers, including employees of the Mac Haik Automotive Group, expressed an interest in participating, and prospective donors inquired about the possibility of tax exempt contributions to the work of "The Center." The concept for and activities now independently provided by CENTER Ministries grew out of "The Center." Tax exempt status will allow other individuals and organizations to contribute their time and talents to build upon the groundbreaking work of Mark Trotter and Pines Presbyterian Church.
How Can I Donate?With CENTER Ministries, you'll be helping children living in such extreme poverty and can enable them to experience the fullness of life God offers. Your donation provide food, clothing, shelter, education, medical care and make it possible for us to reach more and more hurting children. Today, you can help save a child from a life of poverty.