"Paragould is known as the friendly city. So I think it's time we showed that and we live up to that."
Steven McCracken, Executive Director of Shepherd's Fold Ministry, feels the community should not sit idly by with this issue-an issue, McCracken claimed God put on his heart two years ago.
After witnessing the work the Agape House did with women, McCracken felt the same should be done for men. He also felt that a counseling program needed to offer so much more.
"You can't be successful in a program where you have to return to an environment that is still contaminated with addiction," He explains, "Our mission is to help men realize their worth."
McCracken shared the vision and others have joined in the efforts. As the momentum is building, he explains the desperation for a building to house their ministry. He says people are calling, but there is currently not a sizeable place for the sizeable need. Shepherd's Fold is asking the community for any assistance they can provide. McCracken says he knows there are generous people out there and even offers labor as rent for a place for these men and others. Community action is what is needed most.
"People don't think it affects them," McCracken explains, but points out that people should look at the amount of money spent on incarceration. He goes on to say that having a facility for men could help them become productive members of society by becoming employable again and, in turn, paying taxes back to the community. They only need a second chance.
The ministry offers education for life skills, parenting skills, job skills and teachings from Scripture. Men are invited to attend church and last year alone, 200 were baptized. McCracken emphasizes that this is a non-denominational ministry because it is a non-denominational issue. He claims arguing over denomination just distracts believers from the bigger issue---helping those in need.
"Let's do as the Lord commands us and love thy neighbor."
Saturday, Shepherd's Fold had their first big fundraiser to aid in their efforts. The "Ride for Recovery" poker run brought in 49 bikers.
For more information about Shepherd's Fold or for any assistance, call Steven McCracken at (870) 450-5679.