March 31, 2007
Greene County religious and community leaders say that things like drugs and violence are filling their streets, and they want to do something about it before its too late for many teens.
The plan started when Bishop Michael Jackson of Emmanuel Christian Center had a vision of a place where the growing youth population for Greene could come together.
"So with that, I ran to my people and told them that we needed some type of land for the youth center, and this piece of property came up," said Jackson.
Twenty acres of land off Route 33 in Ruckersville will become the future home of the City of Praise youth center.
"We're making it a community youth center, which means abroad, the five or six counties that surround us. Therefore we can perfect what God has for the youth because we need to take them off the streets and get them involved educationally, so they can do things that are responsible," said Jackson.
Bishop Jackson along with other community leaders believe a youth center is necessary because there is a cry for young people in Greene who have no place to go but the streets.
Delegate Rob Bell said, "This is a chance for Greene to get something which it doesn't have much of, which is things for kids to do after hours, after school gets out that are positive. This will be a place for the kids to go, it will be safe and they can have a positive message and hopefully this will keep them from getting into things that they shouldn't."
"I am very excited about it. The Bishop and I, we have talked for at least two or three years about the fact that there is nothing for them to do. If there's a lack of activities than it can lead to problems: drugs, getting involved with gangs, things like that. I am just tremendously excited that he would go and push forward to get this youth center started, it will be a benefit to all," said Greene County Sheriff, Scott Haas.
Emmanuel Christian Center hopes to break ground for the City of Praise in the next year.
If you would like to donate to the center, you can call Bishop Michael Jackson at 434-906-0988.