Mid-South Heroes: Couple helps community through ministry center

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 5:20 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - This month’s Mid-South Heroes are a husband and wife who were called to provide help, hope, and relationship, to those in need.

After being invited to participate in an outreach service in a neighboring town, Karen and John Sudduth noticed a neighborhood in their own backyard where they could share life, love, and fellowship.

“We started with a little wagon full of books that had been donated, and just spend time with the kids and spend time with the adults, the adults would begin to hang around when the stories were being read,” John Sudduth said.

“It was just a sweet thing to be able to build trust,” Karen Sudduth said. “To sit on people’s doorsteps and read books. Relationship is such a vital part of our life as human beings, so we were coming wanting to build relationships, so it took time, but by God’s grace it just grew and grew and grew in a beautiful way…God so loved – love your neighbor, and we didn’t want to miss the relationships that are in our own backyard.”

Out of the relationships formed from their Doorstep Story sessions, the Together Ministry Center was created.

“The ‘together’ actually came from the scripture, Colossians 1:17 – ‘He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together.’ So when you hit hard times, when life is hard, when things happen, adversity is going to come to everyone, but when it comes, the Word says, He holds everything together,” Karen Sudduth said.

With the help of volunteers, donations, area churches, and other agencies, The Together Ministry Center has now expanded from that little red wagon, to two full-sized trailers, with space for education, fellowship, worship, and more. But these relationships are about much more than providing outreach and meeting the surface-level needs of the community.

“And when we can work with the children, and help them understand their identity in Christ, everything else will come into place, and so that’s another beautiful part of this ministry. Is working with the children, because the children are now taking home, and teaching the parents. And it’s a very powerful thing,” John Sudduth said.

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