Founded in 2003, Mercy Street grew out of the desire to see a small pocket of poverty in Dallas – West Dallas – transformed by the gospel.
When Mercy Street began, the community’s high school drop-out rate was alarming. Of the 394 students who entered Pinkston High School in the fall of 1999, only 85 had been promoted to seniors in the fall of 2003. Of those seniors, only 20% passed the TAKS test –now required for graduation – and the average SAT score was 758. Believing transformation best occurs in the context of relationship, we began Mercy Street with a mentoring program. Ultimately, we believe true and lasting change will be brought about by the residents of this community, but, sometimes an infusion of hope is needed from the outside. Following the pattern Christ established by dwelling among those he ministered to, Mercy Street seeks to be “incarnational” in our ministry efforts. Therefore, many of us live in the community.
Mercy Street placed its first Mentor Coordinator at George Washington Carver and mentors were recruited from churches around the city to shepherd every child in the 4th and 5th grades of that school. At first it started slowly as the parents began signing releases for their children to enter the program. By the end of that first year 85% of the students in the 4th and 5th grades had enrolled in the program. As we partner with individual schools, our commitment is to take on every incoming fourth grade class. To do that, Mercy Street partners with area churches who provide our mentors.