TBON: Service over Self - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Joe Birch

TBON: Service over Self

The Lester Street Massacre happened on the outskirts of Binghamton. 

Ironically,  Binghamton has tried mightily to re-invent itself with neighborly love.     

One example is SOS, Service Over Self. SOS is a ministry that has restored 750 homes of people unable to afford home repairs.

SOS has used volunteers from the Mid-South and around the world to help take back neighborhoods.

"Not only does SOS help meet the needs of underprivilged, less fortunate people who are unable to repair their own homes, they go in and share the Good News of Jesus with them kind of in a basic, fundamental way," Marlon Brown said.

On this day, SOS has major repairs underway at Teunica Allen's home on Guernsey Street:

"Teunica is 24. She adopted her 5 sisters and brothers. She has 4 kids of her own," Brown said.

Tree limbs threaten to fall on a roof already in danger of caving in. The floor is a mess, the walls are buckled, the place is falling apart.

Marlon and his volunteers will fix it all at no charge and carry the tools for spiritual repairs, too.

"Growing up in homes that aren't spiritual and neighborhoods that aren't spiritual that are missing the father figure. Those factors contribute to all the drugs, all the crime, all the delinquency, all the educational issues that we have," Brown said.

Using mostly college and high school student volunteers, SOS has fixed 750 houses in a decade. By far most of them in Binghamton, not far from Lester Street.
"I don't let things like the Lester St. murders cause me to entertain and walk and live in fear. It only amplifies the need for Christ in education and change, in parenting and in our neighborhoods," Brown said.

It is a Gospel Marlon preaches while taking back neighborhoods one house and one soul at a time.

SOS began as a ministry of Christ United Methodist Church.

Thousands of college and high school students spent their Spring breaks and Summers doing service over self in Binghamton, Orange Mound and other Memphis neighborhoods.

Click here to e-mail Joe Birch.    

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