Thursday, May 19, 2016

Jackson House Dedication, Home Tour and Follow-Up

Acknowledging God's hand and thanking Him for 
the many details and people that miraculously 
came together for the building of the Jackson house.

During the dedication ceremony for the new Jackson house, we felt humbled and thankful to God for the provisions and volunteers that made the Jackson house a home again. We anxiously awaited to hear how Mr. and Mrs. Jackson felt after the dedication and the exciting "Big Reveal" where the keys to their newly built and furnished home were handed to them, are were not surprised to hear that they give all the glory to the Lord for His goodness to them. 

Mr. Jackson freely shared from his heart that this experience has taught him to trust God with everything, to be patient, and to be thankful. He said that when he opens a kitchen cabinet, or moves laundry into the dryer, or sits at his desk in the study he often says, “Thank you!” out loud. The day after they moved in, he sat at the dining room table and thought back over the past five years... all God had brought them through and how He had made a way for them to have a home again. He thought of how they had been protected in the tornado that took so many lives, how God connected CSM with them, how a house came available for them to live in while the new house was being built and how so many people came together on their behalf to make sure every detail was covered. He said that as he was thanking God for these blessings, a tear dropped in his coffee. 

When Mrs. Jackson was asked to tell her favorite thing about the house, she said, “Everything!” with a big smile. The house is particularly meaningful to her because she grew up in the original house and the new house is constructed on the original family property. She also said that she still has the feeling that it is not real and that they are just visiting. She said that she has to pinch Mr. Jackson so he will quit “crying in his coffee.” They both feel words are completely inadequate to express their gratitude to everyone involved and are convinced it will best be lived out in the way they begin to turn around and minister to others.

Shades Mountain Baptist Church worked tirelessly and
joyfully to furnish, decorate, and clean the Jackson house.
At the dedication, they presented a family Bible as a gift
to the family to commemorate the day.

Felicia Watkins – ARCH Exec. Dir. (Alabama Rural Coalition for the Homeless) 
worked with CSM as a resource partner to build a new 
home for the Jacksons where their original house once stood.

Felicia gives the keys to Mrs. Jackson

A day of kindness, gratitude, and celebration
Mr. Jackson (with Jamie Barnhart) was already overwhelmed
before the family had even seen the inside of the house.

The family was first welcomed by this "Mantle of Remembrance," 
which was removed from the original house before the 
demolition crew came in and refinished for the new house.

Original house in 1964 (top image) and the day CSM came to discuss 
replacing the damaged and uninhabitable house for them (lower image).

Master bath

Hall bathroom


Living room

Living room


Dining room

Master Bedroom

Second bedroom

A Note From Tracy Hipps: We Love the Church

The love of the Lord never ceases to amaze me. Each morning I get up, excited to spend time with my Father in His Word. I sit down and I read from the one-year Bible, as I have done for many years. Today, 2 Corinthians 10:15 was a part of the reading, and in this Paul says, “…we hope that your faith will grow and that our work among you will be greatly enlarged.” For the last six years the Lord has done some amazing ministry through CSM. We have seen this ministry grow and enlarge its reach into the lives of people in Birmingham urban communities. One piece of CSM's mission is to partner with local churches, where we find our greatest value and position. Recently I have heard here different pastor's speak one the Church, and I am reminded that this is the only institution God said He would build.

At CSM we love to work with local churches that love and seek to lift the communities and people they serve. We are a part of the Local Leadership Team for the General Baptist Conference coming to Birmingham in June where we will see the Church rally together to make a difference. We are honored to serve along side the Church to see the gospel change lives. All the resources in the world will not change a life, but the gospel will. We have a responsibility as a para-church to affirm the local church in its mission to “make disciples, who make more disciples.” CSM is intentionally partnered WITH the local church to see lives changed for eternity.

We have been meeting with one local pastor who has a church in Woodlawn, and with whom we are partnering to create a comprehensive cultural approach to achieve better health of body, mind, soul and spirit. We are going to work with this church to pilot our new healthy food education and cooking initiative. This pastor has lost over 160 pounds in the last two years to improve his health. He sees the value of the changes God has helped him make in his own life and is dedicated to disciple his people to take hold of the freedom he has experienced. Discipleship changes lives and impacts lives for eternity. This is why we love working with the local church.

CSM is committed to walk with local church partners who wants to reach their community with a hand-up and not just a hand out. We want to educate people to live empowered lives that will help others. We want to mobilize the body of Christ to see beyond today to change tomorrow. We want to build partnerships that work together to see our city change for Christ. 

Bee Happy!

This spring we added bees to our growing garden center, and they are now happily buzzing around. They have even been found hitching rides in our cars! Stop by the ministry center, take a tour in the gardens, and watch the bees work.
Dave Hinkle built our bee boxes, and queen bee expert Dawn Hinkle
painted this one to look like the Christian Service Mission.
Look closely and you will see Willie driving the truck!

Bee transport. Volunteer Joe Hinkle rode back to the ministry center with
this box in his lap!

Bees and comb!

A Few Hands Can Make a Big Impact

Volunteers from Regions Bank

Each month we have everything from individual volunteers to large groups of a hundred or more. These volunteers are vital to our organization and to the work that is happening here at CSM and in Birmingham! We have a small staff and we would not be able to accomplish all the tasks before us without the volunteers who make it all happen. 

This month, ten volunteers from Regions Bank came and we needed them to pack over a thousand resource packs for our Mother's Day event. They only had a few hours to work with us but because of their dedication and passion they got all resources packed! God is such a great provider!

These resources were passed out to women in nursing homes and at a special luncheon where women from local shelters were honored at a time when they feel the most forgotten. These gifts, while more practical than fancy, made the women feel so special and these volunteers helped make that happen. Because of their efforts, over 120 women at the luncheon and over 1,000 women at local underserved nursing homes throughout the city received a special gift. Thanks for your service Regions!

If you want to be a part of the great work going on here in Birmingham, contact Michael Bowen at 

Volunteers Enjoy Getting Ready for the Jackson Home "Big Reveal"

Our hearts are full from all the amazing miracles we saw happen this past month, especially when we remember all the volunteers who gave time and resources to make the move into the Jackson House a beautiful experience. A special thanks goes out to the Friends in the Foxhole Bible Study, Shades Mountain Baptist Church Bruce/Autrey/Hagen Class, and Signature Homes for pitching in with their whole hearts, creativity and resourcefulness– glorifying God the whole time! The Jackson family was overwhelmed, and your willing hands and prayers on their behalf have altered the course of their lives for generations to come.

Volunteers from Shades Mountain Baptist Church 
Tracy was so happy to bless the Jackson family with a new house!