Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX


June 21, 2014

Relocation of local Christian youth ministry continues

JACKSONVILLE — Transformation continues on a 100-year-old cotton gin that will house a Christian youth ministry, but Eagle's Nest leaders hope Thursday's open house will give the community a better idea of what is needed to get the project fully launched.

“The only thing we have left (to complete) is electrical and plumbing," Director James Kimbrell said. “I've got another several hours of work left to put up plywood, but that won't take long.”

According to fellow evangelist Levi Lutz, who helps head up the ministry, Eagle's Nest has owned the building – located across from the local post office – since 2009.

While necessary maintenance was done to the building, it mostly was used for storage while the ministry operated out of another site not too far away. However, Lutz said in a previous interview, it had come to a point where the building needed to be utilized, rather than putting funds into a lease agreement at the other site.

“It has always been the ministry's goal to be out of there and moved into the cotton gin building,” Lutz said.

This past year, he took over the reins from founders Larry and Lori McGlade, who began the ministry to teenagers in 1999.

It provided youths a place for games and entertainment, as well as a daily Bible study, something Kimbrell says will continue at the new site.

“As you come through the front door – that'll be the check-in – you walk into the game room, which we're wanting to be an arcade room with air hockey and foosball and a pool table. Then you go into another room, which will be the sanctuary, where Bible study will be held,” he said, adding that eventually a kitchen will be added.

About 18 to 22 loads of trash have been cleared out of the building since this past November, Kimbrell said.

“A lot of the stuff stored in here was in such bad shape or wasn't good,” he said of items donated through the years. “What was still good has been donated to Goodwill or The Mission, but there was some stuff in here that was in bad condition.”

Other than small repairs to ensure the building stays in good shape – along with the necessary electrical and plumbing work – “we're going to leave the outside exactly as it is. We'll probably put the Eagle's Nest logo on the big wall, otherwise, we'll leave it exactly the same,” Kimbrell said.

No hard opening date has been set, but he said he hopes the community will attend the open house, scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday, and be inspired to help fulfill a wish list that leaders have cobbled together.

“It all depends on the community, on funding and donations,” Kimbrell said. “That's why we're having the open house, to get the community involved. We're hoping that as soon as we get the electrical and plumbing done, we can kick (the ministry) off.”

Quote from plumbers and electricians average $8,000 to $10,000, most of which will be used to upgrade the facilities to meet ADA standards, he said.

Items sought include musical instruments, lighting and sound equipment, arcade games and plywood.

“We need sound equipment, musical instruments – we're trying to get the kids more involved, so we're looking to start up a worship band. We want to give the kids a reason to come – a lot of them don't have money, so we're hoping people will donate (instruments),” Kimbrell said. “A lot of our sound and stage equipment was damaged or outdated, so we're needing all kinds.”

Arcade games “are a big (wish list item) – we had a few at the other site at one time, but they were worn out. We had them from when Larry and Lori first opened Eagle's Nest, and the kids really loved them.”

The plywood will be used for lining walls because it is more durable than sheetrock, he explained.

United Fund board president Nancy Washburn said the ministry is one of several funded by the organization and is important “because it gives teenagers a safe place to go and something to do.

“It's a needed place here, and that's been verified by both audience and participation.”

United Fund has been “monitoring the project and working with them to ensure that activities are started up again, but we also hope that the community supports them so that we can continue to fund them in years to come,” she said.

Volunteers are always welcome, Kimbrell said, and they can contact the office at 936-326-9765 or call his cell, 936-371-2151 to inquire about how to help.

They also may contact the Eagle's Nest by mail, at P.O. Box 233, Sacul, TX 75788, for information or to donate funds.

Text Only
  • Alto City Council examines gas line issue

    City leaders have started looking into the process of moving a gas line that runs from Alto through Wells along U.S. Hwy. 69 to meet requirements of TxDOT, which is widening the road through the city.

    July 26, 2014

  • Old Jville Bearden Store.tif Longtime furniture store changes hands

    For the better part of a century, Bearden Furniture Co., Inc., has been the go-to place for local residents wanting to beautify their home.
    Furniture and accessories, carpeting, window treatments – even electronics at one point – were offered at the Commerce Street store, but on July 1, the family who started Bearden's sold the company to Louisiana-based Ivan Smith Furniture company.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Athens woman confesses to killing daughter

    A 25-year-old mother is in the Henderson County Jail after telling authorities that she had killed her four-year-old daughter, Monday

    July 24, 2014

  • Bullard: District names Jan Hill as deputy superintendent

    Bullard Independent School District is proud to announce Jan Hill as Deputy Superinten-dent. Hill will assume the new role effective immediately.

    July 24, 2014

  • ‘Christmas in July’ drive benefits area foster children

    Sure, December is still more than five months away, but Cherokee County residents are getting the chance to start spreading some holiday cheer a little early this year during the annual Christmas in July donation drive, benefitting the county's Rainbow Room.

    July 24, 2014

  • RISD board mulls $16M budget

    Local school board members are considering a $16,671,955 proposed general fund budget for Rusk ISD's upcoming fiscal year – which begins Sept. 1 – but are nowhere near close to adopting the budget, said Lesa Jones, assistant district superintendent for finance and operation.

    July 22, 2014

  • National Night Out to return to Jacksonville

    National Night Out ( NNO) festivities will be returning  to Jacksonville this year.
    Jacksonville Police Crime Prevention Officer Detective Tonya Harris said all Jacksonville residents are encouraged to participate this year by sponsoring or attending a National Night Out party on Oct. 7.

    July 22, 2014

  • Bullard group rallies behind alcohol petition

    A petition calling for a city-wide city election this November that would make all areas of Bullard wet, including those which fall in Cherokee County, has proven successful, as more than the required 221 signatures have been collected.

    July 19, 2014

  • mom and kids_6776.tif Jacksonville woman celebrates 100th birthday surrounded by family, friends

    Ethel Terry, a lifelong resident of Jacksonville, celebrated her 100th birthday with an open house on July 15 at the Twin Oaks Care Facility in Jacksonville.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cemetery grass.tif Extra rainfall produces more abundant lawns, extends hay season

    Steady periods of rain this summer have been a homeowner's dream, as lawns appear more lush than in previous years.
    But for city workers, that same growth has taken on nightmarish proportions.
    “It's a maintenance nightmare,” said Ben Briley, director of the City of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Department.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo