Thursday, January 19, 2012

Davis College to keep ministry's doors open

BINGHAMTON -- A downtown ministry that provides hot meals and other food items to needy residents will be continued by a local college after the Baptist-run facility faced the possibility of closing its doors due to a lack of funding.

Davis College will operate Carroll Street Ministries after accepting the property's deed as a donation from the Central New York Baptist Association, which was likely to shutter the ministry after losing funding from its national convention.

Instead, Davis College will encourage students at the Bible-based school in Johnson City to get involved at Carroll Street Ministries.

"This will give students the opportunity to help people," said Jerry Traister, chief operating officer of Davis College. "We look forward to continuing the work that has been established at Carroll Street Ministries."

Although no financial aid will be provided by Davis, volunteers from the college will enable the street-corner ministry to keep its doors open, said Bill Deckert, a Davis graduate who handles Carroll Street's day-to-day operations.

Deckert said the site will continue to offer a Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse food pantry from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesdays and 2 to 3 p.m. Saturdays. In addition, a free lunch, which serves as many as 60 people each week, will stay open from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturdays.

Volunteers served a free lunch Monday to several dozen people in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"This is a way to keep Dr. King's dream alive," said Candace Thornton, a senior at Davis who organized the event. "I hope we impacted the community and helped people who didn't have enough to eat."

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