Easy Street and Hemphill Street intersect. One must choose their direction at the intersection.
Since 1959 the Southside church has chosen Hemphill over Easy Street.
Hemphill has always challenged. And for six decades, Spirit-led people have accepted the challenge to minister and to love the Diversity and the Need that is Hemphill.
The physically handicapped or physically broken
The mentally ill
The residents of Edna Gladney, VOA, Salvation Army, CENIKOR, ABODE, those in transitional housing
The college students
The community school students
Those with little HOPE
All these, and many more, have found love and warmth and redemption below the Heaven-pointing steeple among the red carpets and bright chandeliers of a traditional looking church with its unconventional outreach.
We think of those in decades past that chose the towel and basin, knelt down, and pointed the way: Tidwell, Lacy, Rodriquez, Beard, Sosebee, Cummings, Anthony, Ball, Bullock, Hatcher, Carter, Gardner, Scheihing, Lovell, Lovett, Richie, Sutherland, Dodson, Brownlow, Barton, Davis, Hegi, Kile, Leonard, Howard, Atkins, McKenzie, Sawyer, Burkett, Donohue, Padillo, Thomas, Brown, Owen, Green, Ramirez, Leaf… and hundreds more… and are inspired.
Now a whole new generation with muscle and grit and big hearts and long arms have arisen to champion and yes, to sacrifice for, “the least of these”.
It is not Easy Street. It is frustration, disappointment, two steps forward and one step back, doing much with little.
Yet when the Master reached that intersection Himself we know toward which He set His Face and which direction His holy footsteps followed.
To the Family of the Southside church who still choose Hemphill over Easy our community is indebted and God’s Favor is bestowed. Heaven smiles.