posted on March 28, 2014 13:00
Campbell Divinity Student Answers the Call to Homeless Ministry
“I just enjoy helping people,”is the humble answer that Chris Allen gives when asked about his motivation for working with homeless persons in the Raleigh area.
His passion for ministry is just one of the things that led him to Campbell University Divinity School (CUDS). As an active member of Temple Baptist Church in Raleigh, Chris taught Sunday school, led youth Bible studies and studied Baptist History. He says, “The more I studied, the more convinced I was that I wanted to dive deeper into the theological pool.” After hearing “great things about Campbell,” he decided to join the CUDS family.
Now in his fourth semester in Divinity School, he continues to say, “Here I am, Lord.” He hopes that his background in law and a prospective Master of Divinity will help him continue to answer God’s call.
Before coming to Campbell Divinity School Chris received a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Master of Arts in history from NC State University. He has also received a JD in Law from North Carolina Central University. In the past he worked for the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources as Director of Historic Sites, then as Assistant Attorney General for the NC Department of Justice, and finally as an in-house counsel for the Department of Revenue. Chris retired at the age of 50 with “lots of energy,” and plans to set up his own law practice. His plans were successful and, currently, he is a practicing attorney in the Raleigh-Durham area.
Chris now serves on the Board of Directors at the Raleigh Rescue Mission—a non-profit organization that ministers to homeless men, women and children in the Raleigh area. The Raleigh Rescue Mission provides many services for the community, some of which include an overnight emergency shelter for women and children, a residential recovery program for men and women, housing locator assistance, adult educational programs, a child development center and an onsite medical clinic. Chris says, “The focus of the Raleigh Rescue Mission is to address the underlying reasons for homelessness and get people back into society.” He says that the Raleigh Rescue mission is “unabashedly Christian.” When talking about the mission’s motivation he says, “We believe that through the love of Jesus Christ, the homeless can find their way back home.”
In March, Chris began leading men’s devotionals, and will be on rotation for leading chapel services that take place several times a week at the mission.
In addition to his work with the Raleigh Rescue Mission, Chris also participates in Temple’s Table, a ministry of Temple Baptist Church that provides lunch for less fortunate persons on the first and third Sundays of every month. The ministry serves anywhere from 15-40 walk-ins on those Sundays and delivers over 200 meals to persons through Meals on Wheels. Chris says, “It’s more than just a meal. It’s sharing the love of Jesus.”
In the future Chris hopes to combine his passions for law and homeless ministry by providing services for those who have legal issues that prevent them from returning to society.
Chris says the biggest lesson that he has learned through his community service is that, “There are a tremendous number of hurting people who are invisible,” but, he says, “Once you look for them, you can find them.”