Angelic Ministries will host an open house and question-and-answer session at the former Salem Baptist Church building 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6. The church is located at 4805 Fort Sumter Road. Board member Ray Jenkins said most of the Angelic Ministries board and staff will be present to speak about their work and to hear from the community about possible uses for the building.
Angelic Ministries came under fire last month when community members grew concerned that the building would be used as a drug rehabilitation center or halfway house.
“The purpose is not necessarily to show people the facility,” said Jenkins. “Most of the people who are interested in what’s going on there are familiar with the church. They want to talk to the board and staff at Angelic about what we plan or don’t plan to do with the property.”
Jenkins asserted that Angelic will not use the building for drug rehab or a halfway house.
“(Pastor Tony Earl) and I have been very clear on that point from the beginning,” Jenkins said. “This facility will never become a halfway house or rehab facility under Angelic Ministries, and any rumors or speculation to the contrary is just that: rumor and speculation.”
Jenkins said the open house serves another purpose: to kick off Angelic’s community outreach for the building’s eventual use.
“We’re going to be talking to the churches, businesses and schools in the community and try to get a consensus from all those different groups as to what’s needed in the Halls community, to see if we can fill in any gaps in services,” he said. “We’d like to have as many people as are interested come out and learn about what we do downtown and how that may or may not influence what we do in Halls. We’re just looking to partner with people in the Halls community. They’re great people and obviously passionate about what goes on in the community.”
Angelic Ministries offers services for homeless people and “families in distress,” plus a housing and work program for men at its downtown facility.
“I would just encourage everybody to keep an open mind,” said Jenkins. “We are not in any way, shape or form trying to hide anything or mislead anybody about what we’re doing. We bought this facility on faith, and when you feel that God’s telling you to do something, you do it.”