Church ministry group may use city’s Kings Community Center|[3/29/06]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Negotiations may lead to Triumph Ministry Inc., a not-for-profit corporation affiliated with Triumph M.B. Church, using the Kings Community Center, owned by the City of Vicksburg.

South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman said various recreational and educational programs are planned by the ministry.

The Rev. Larry Nicks, senior pastor of Triumph M.B. Church, said the group hopes to bring an after-school tutoring program, athletic programs and health services to the center.

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&#8220They’re wanting to use the facility in the way it was designed to be used,” Beauman said.

Summer enrichment programs for children ages 1-18 are in the works as well, Nicks said.

&#8220A lot of our kids in the community during the summer are wandering the streets, and if we can provide some kind of program to keep them from being idle it would benefit the community,” he said.

The building on North Washington Street was formerly an elementary school and later housed city-sponsored community programs. It underwent at least two major remodeling and expansion projects, but was shut down in October when the city stopped funding the center – citing lack of use and shortage of funds.

Nicks said the group hopes to begin adult educational programs at the center as well, such as GED and computer training programs. There are also plans for a wellness center.

&#8220We recognize a lot of people in the community are having to make up their minds whether to use their finances to buy food or get proper health care, so for them to have regular health care we’re very excited about the possibility of bringing a satellite wellness center free of charge.”

There will also be a food distribution service that is open to the public, Nicks said.

He said that even though Triumph Ministry is a church-affiliated organization, all programs will be open to the public.

&#8220Everything we do is open to the community,” he said. &#8220It’s not a Triumph thing, it’s a community thing. We want the whole community to be involved. We understand that the city can’t do everything.”

Nicks said many of the details of the lease have not been worked out yet, including the financial aspect of it. He said he hopes to have the lease completed in the next two weeks.