Hollis Luke Yungwoo Gregory, affectionately known as “Chino,” is a beloved part of the “PEOPLE OF SOUTHSIDE.” Everywhere one turns at Southside there he is–tutoring program, School Store, GENERATIONS worship, Thanksgiving baskets, CONNECT ministry, fellowships–always with a big smile and helping hands.
Chino was born in Seoul, South Korea. Raised in an orphanage until four years old, he was adopted by a Fort Worth single mom and brought to Texas. He was raised with nine other children by this benevolent soul. Chino says that it was a struggle, but he is deeply grateful. One of his chores he tackled growing up was cooking for this large family, this skill has served him well. Despite some physical challenges that accompany his cerebral palsy, Chino always participated in sports as a youngster growing up here on the south side of town.
There were some dark seasons of life for Chino as he says he “spiraled downhill.” He was on his own at 16, there was some gang activity, and there was some trouble with the authorities. The streets of the south side of Fort Worth can be mean and cruel. But along the way he says he learned the 23rd Psalm. And with the Shepherd’s rod and staff he was guided from the gray concrete to the green pastures. The BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB here on Hemphill was transformative and gave him direction. He received his Certified Nurses Assistant training.
And then one Sunday about six years ago he summoned the courage to walk into a big room with chandeliers on a Sunday morning. He knew no one. He was met by Steve Cloer and befriended by the Thell and Angelica White family. The GRACE class became like family who provided the “still waters” of stability and nurture for which he longed. The class encouraged and enabled Chino to continue his education at TARRANT COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE where he is presently studying. He is interested in being a sign language interpreter. He brightens as he recalls the day that Steve Cloer baptized him and he found a new identity.
From the cold streets of the south side of Fort Worth to living in the warm embrace of a flock in the care of the Shepherd–a “PEOPLE OF SOUTHSIDE” story worth celebrating.