Last January, I was informed that I was being considered for an appointment to the Alabama Rural Ministry (ARM) board of directors. After a vetting process, my nomination was approved and I am now in a leadership position with an organization that my husband and I have long respected and supported.
Noah and I have pinched off our meager retirement income to contribute financially to ARM because the staff and volunteers are disciples of good.
ARM is a dedicated friend to this community. The organization truly helps people, whether it’s repairing homes for elderly and low-income residents or providing summer camp options for children. The website says the mission is to “…end sub-standard housing in rural Alabama. By restoring hope and building dreams, we aim to make sweet homes for Alabama and extend an arm of Christ’s love.”
ARM was founded in 1998 on the campus of the University of West Alabama in Livingston, which is the county seat of Sumter County. The organization is now based in Opelika and serves families and children throughout Lee, Macon and Sumter counties. Each summer, in addition to the home repair ministry, ARM hosts Sonshine Day Camps in two locations – Tuskegee and Livingston – for children in the communities ages 5 to 10. The name “Sonshine” refers to Christ as the “Son” of God.
ARM is officially a ministry of the United Methodist Church, but the organization has an open arms attitude and serves with all churches and denominations. Through the United Methodist connection, ARM is affiliated with Tuskegee First Methodist Church, located on South Main Street and has been actively involved in renovations at the building. This has given the church a new lease on life. It is now actively used for a number of community service programs.
A partner ministry, I Am My Brother’s Keeper (IAMBK), hosts its after school tutoring, dance and drama classes at the church throughout the school year. In the future, ARM plans to finish renovations so that more and more ministries and groups can use the church space as a “hub” for mission and outreach in Tuskegee.
The church parsonage on Main Street, serves as a home for summer interns and as a hosting site for mission teams in the fall, winter and spring. A few months ago, Noah and I welcomed a mission group from Massachusetts that stayed at the parsonage and we even produced a short video we entitled “Boston Visitors.” (Click here to watch video)
Lastly, ARM is very excited about the home on North Maple Street that workers are rehabilitating into a duplex for low-income veterans. This home was formerly abandoned, but much progress has been made in recent months and there is no doubt that when the work is finished, this property will be another example of ARM’s commitment to this community.
For more information, visit http://www.arm-al.org/about/who-we-are/
Watch this video – https://vimeo.com/9306423
If you would like to serve with ARM or are interested in a summer internship, please contact Joe Davis at (334) 501-4276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.