Since last year, a ministry has been growing in East Rockingham and has since expanded into various forms of outreach.
The red building at 469 Mill Road that used to be a tattoo and piercing parlor is now Jesus is Justice Mission Church. Pastor of the church Cynthia Bryant and her husband Bishop Harlan Bryant come from New York City, where they founded the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. Organization in 1990, which stands for Justice, Unity, Strength To Improve Community Economics.
“This is one of the neediest areas of Rockingham,” said Pastor Bryant. “We’ve just come here to do what has to be done for the people. I feel that if you come here and see the needs of the people and turn your back, something is wrong with that picture.”
The mission recently held a Health and Wellness Fair that included blood pressure checks, stroke education, stress management, diabetes testing, fall risk assessment, HIV testing, and health and nutrition education, courtesy of Twin Quality Nursing Services Inc. of Thomasville and Twin Quality Medical Staffing Inc. of Greensboro.
According to Bryant, nearly 60 people from the surrounding area attended the event.
The church has also expanded into the building beside the church, which is being upfitted for a Christian bookstore.
County Commissioner and store owner Jimmy Capps of Cordova donated the buildings to the church.
“(Bryant) is a really nice lady with good intentions and I tried to help all I could,” said Capps.
Capps, who said the building was a beauty parlor for some time, said he understands the needs of the church. He said East Rockingham needs a ministry to feed and clothe the poor, and that Bryant “saw a need for the hungry and has the vision to do it. Not many people in the world are like that. She said she feeds 500 people a month but I think there are more than that, that are hungry, but don’t want anyone to know it.”
Bryant said she has turned the church on Mill Road over to Minister Cardella Moates, her sister Hellen Smith and their mother Dottie. Moates travels to New York with Bryant a few times a year to receive training on how to run the ministry. Bryant said she is thankful that she can leave for New York, knowing Moates has everything under control.
Bryant has been collecting things for the needy since 1990, like shoes and clothes and deodorant and shampoo and all the things many take for granted. She spends her time sorting the things, packing them and either hands them out at sites she has opened, or takes them to places to be shipped to other countries such as the Bahamas where she helps support an AIDS camp.
“My goal is to not see so many homeless people here. I believe they can help themselves if they are educated,” said Bryant. “I feed 3,200 people a month in New York City. I house the mentally disabled, the battered, addicts, former convicts and anyone who just needs a hand. It’s not hard to put things like this together for people. So when communities say, ‘We can’t do this,’ that’s not true. I’m not funded by the state or federal government. If I live good, you’re supposed to live good, too. I couldn’t do anything in my life without Jesus Christ — he gets all the credit.”
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.