The 10-year Kids4Christ celebration will be held from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, June 24, at the ministry’s building at 108 West Withers Street in LaFayette.
It will be a public open house event with finger foods and refreshments.
"The most exciting thing, looking back at the 10 years, is all the unexpected ways God grew and blessed this ministry,” Gail Marks said, founder of the Kids4Christ ministry. “He's done more than we could have ever imagined, and I look forward to seeing what He does at K4C in the next 10 years."
The ministry’s effort actually began on June 26, 2002, with a handful of volunteers trying to make a positive impact in the lives of a few “at-risk” children through out their community.
“We started with nothing and never expected to have something that would last, but He surprised us,” Marks said. “Through hard times and good times, even when we lost hope, God continued to meet needs and grew Kids 4 Christ into what it is today.”
There were 18 children in two classes at the start. The ministry and number of kids increased in the years that have followed, reaching more than 100 students in Bible class during April 2005.
Volunteers and board members said they have eagerly awaited the milestone anniversary, reflecting on scrapbook photos that have chronicled the children and the challenges.
The 10th anniversary celebration will feature a self-guided tour of the facility, a display featuring the K4C history, and a slideshow featuring highlights of the past 10 years.
“As Christians we are taught to love everyone the same regardless of how much money you may or may not have,” K4C outreach minister Terry Kinsey said.
Kinsey has been with the charity for more than two years and has seen the adversity that some kids face along with the hurdles they have successfully navigated on their way to college and technical colleges.
More than 1,400 children have passed through the Kid4Christ doors since it officially began as a 510c3 charity in 2004. Kids 4 Christ officials said their mission is to “reach children from traditionally unchurched populations with the Gospel Message of Christ.”
The focus is to teach children to make good decisions while spreading the word of Jesus, Kinsey said.
Children in the program have summer camp opportunities and other outreach programs like “Neighborhood Adventure,” a summertime program while kids are away from school.
The children are fed a full meal each Thursday in Kids First (Bible classes) and a snack in Cool After School.
Kids4Christ also has a daily Montessori after-school program, which focuses on giving academic help to at-risk kids, a weekly Bible program and a mentoring program, according to Marks.
Since 2003, volunteers have handed out book bags and school supplies to kids during their “Back 2 School Blast,” which handed out more than 350 bags this past school year.
It has received a second place recognition by the Walker County Chamber of Commerce in 2009 and 2011 for area youth ministries.