Our Mission: Following Jesus Christ’s
example, Common Ground Community, Inc., is committed to making a difference in
Cedar Grove through compassionate outreach, building relationships, and
acceptance of all people. We serve and build lasting relationships with our neighbors in Cedar Grove who may be hungry or lacking in other basic needs. We are primarily volunteer driven with volunteers from many churches from all over the Shreveport-Bossier-Benton region.
Although some of our volunteers have been working in the Cedar Grove community for almost 20 years, Common Ground was incorporated in 2004. Common Ground started as an outreach program of Grace Community United Methodist Church. Mr. Brian was mission’s chairperson at Grace and came to Faith United Methodist Church to see how the two churches could partner. Soon the Kitchen Angels were helping with a community meal and after school tutoring at Faith.
In 2002, a group including Tania Lang and Brian Hunter went to Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco to learn how Grace could implement some of Glide’s outreach ministries. They were inspired and decided to put some of what they heard and learned to work in Cedar Grove. The more they came to the neighborhood and build relationships, they began to fall in love with Cedar Grove.
The property across the street from Faith came up for sale, and at a time when their lives when folks might have been buying vacation homes or lake house, the group decided to buy what we call the Bright House now, the yellow house next to it and the community garden area. Abbie and Joe Barfield moved into the Yellow House. Renovations of the Bright House began. (The Bright House was originally known as the White House until the youth at Grace Community decided that the White House needed a new coat of many colors. ) The community meal, after school program, food pantry and clothes closet that had been at Faith, moved across the street to the Bright House.
In June 2010, a year after Faith church was closed, the Louisiana Methodist Conference donated the 25,000 square foot building to Common Ground. Through the generosity of several local foundations and hours of work by dedicated volunteers, we completed the first phase of our renovations in 2011 and we moved all the Bright House ministries into the larger space. The kitchen was completely remodeled, which is good because not that long ago, a big crowd for a Thursday night meal was 120. These days that is considered a small group because now we often have more than 180 folks come.
After school tutoring continues for the children. This year will be our ninth year of free summer day camp where children from the community come spend time learning, creating and being in a safe caring environment. The Bright House and our two “JJ Houses” now house members who want to not just serve in the community, but also become part of the community by living in the neighborhood. Boys Scouts have renovated greenhouse renovations were completed. We had mission groups from all over Louisiana, Texas and as far away as Illinois come spend time in the community.
We continue to grow and we have many new friends, new Bible studies and new ministries have kicked off.
We invite you to drop by one day and see for yourself what God is doing in our Cedar Grove community.