North Raleigh Ministries History
In the early 2000s, pastors from several churches in the North Hills area started having lunch together to fellowship and talk about what was going on in the lives of their respective churches. During the course of their conversations, they realized that their neighbors in crisis were coming to each one of their churches for help with emergency financial and food assistance. They wanted to help more people and help them in a more efficient way. Thus, the idea for a nonprofit that could effectively distribute benevolence to North Raleigh residents in a Christian spirit was born.
The North Hills Crisis Center (now North Raleigh Ministries) opened its doors on March 4, 2004 in small 1,200 square foot house on Six Forks Road in the North Hills area, and became officially incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2005. The ministry provided emergency financial and food assistance only and served five zip codes in the North Hills area. There were five member churches: St. Timothy’s Episcopal, St. Mark’s Methodist, Trinity Baptist, Hudson Memorial Presbyterian, and Grace Lutheran. The member churches provided initial donations and volunteers to support the ministry, as well as one member each for the Board of Directors.
In the summer of 2005, it became clear that the North Hills Crisis Center needed to change locations for this reason: the space was simply too small for the amount of people that the ministry was helping. The North Hills Crisis Center Board of Directors searched all over North Raleigh for a suitable location, and finally found a space on Spring Forest Road that would allow them to operate a Crisis Center, Market, and Thrift Shop. The new thrift shop was planned to generate funds to support the ministry, and has become an integral part of the North Raleigh community.
So, during October of 2005, the ministry moved from a 1,200 square foot space to a 10,000 square foot space. With the change in location, the name of the ministry also changed from the “North Hills Crisis Center” to “North Raleigh Ministries”, as the ministry was no longer located in the North Hills area. The move to the larger space and the addition of the Thrift Shop also allowed North Raleigh Ministries to expand its service area to seven zip codes.
Even though North Raleigh Ministries was able to add 10,000 more square feet to its space in the Spring Forest location in 2007, the location on Spring Forest Road was still not large enough to accommodate all of the donations and neighbors that it was receiving, so another move became necessary. In March of 2011, North Raleigh Ministries moved to its current location on Strickland Road, with the Thrift Shop in the front and the Crisis Center and The Market in the back. And in December of 2011, a building behind the same shopping center became available, so the Crisis Center moved in and was able to add its long-awaited education wing for classes, allowing the organization to expand its programming to include Jobs for Life classes for the unemployed and underemployed.
Over the years, North Raleigh Ministries has gained many business partners, many new projects to help their neighbors in need and many new member churches that are now associated with the ministry. Today, the member churches are: Crossroads Fellowship Church, New Hope Baptist, Christ Baptist, Greystone Baptist, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene, Church of the Apostles, Grace Community Church, St. Timothy’s Episcopal, St. Mark’s Methodist, Trinity Baptist, Hudson Presbyterian, and Grace Lutheran. There are also about 20 other churches in the North Raleigh area that participate every month in ways such as donating resources and providing volunteers to help run the ministry. Without the prayers and support of the Christian community in North Raleigh, North Raleigh Ministries could not function.
North Raleigh Ministries is a very special organization that God has tremendously blessed. There have been many challenges over the years, but God has truly provided the resources that were needed to overcome them. North Raleigh Ministries has grown and expanded extremely quickly, but somehow, the resources have always been available to keep its doors open and its mission to “love thy neighbor” alive. And as North Raleigh Ministries moves forward, those who love the organization always remember where it came from and what it was originally intended to do. Denise Crumpler says “When this ministry started, I didn’t realize that sometimes our commandment to ‘sit and wait upon the Lord’ means that you have to get up and get it done!” And with the Lord’s blessing, North Raleigh Ministries will continue to operate and serve its neighbors in need for many years to come.