For the first 14 years of Mercy Street, we have had a mantra – “We are laser beam focused on West Dallas.” As Mercy Street looks to the future, we remain fully committed to West Dallas and its residents. It is my home. It is where my kids have grown up. However, we also feel called to explore what it would look like to expand to other neighborhoods in the city.
Over the years, we have helped many other non-profits and churches implement mentoring programs like Mercy Street. We have done that on a consultative basis and have remained in close contact with many of these groups and they are seeing the same thing we have seen over the years—a transformative impact on both the mentor, the child and the community. So we have been praying for some time now about what that means for us. We have decided to expand our reach in the city by partnering with other established ministries that already have deep relationships in their neighborhood and who hold the same commitments to relationships with their neighbors. Rather than simply consulting though, we will be providing direct oversight of these programs.
We are currently working with Will Dowell and Behind Every Door to implement our mentoring model within their ministry that so beautifully works with and loves on families living in lower income apartment complexes. Behind Every Door will continue to offer their programming and we plan to match mentors with the kids in their programs who want one. We really believe that the combined efforts of both ministries will have an even bigger impact on the kids and the surrounding community.
To undertake this effort, I am taking on a new role. I am taking the title of Founder/CEO. It feels a bit grand honestly, but it is what we landed on. In this role, I will be focused on these expansion efforts as well as fundraising efforts to ensure their success.
We have hired a tremendously capable man to take my place as the Executive Director. He will be focused on the day-to-day ministry efforts and help implement the expansion strategy. His name is Ricky Jimmerson.
Here is an interview I did with his so you all could get to know him:
Tell me a little about yourself?
My name is Ricky Jimmerson. I am from a small town called Bastrop which is located in Louisiana. I am the oldest of 3 siblings. I attended college at Louisiana Tech University where I completed my bachelor’s of science degree in computer science. I also met my dear wife in college. My wife’s name is Yamonica Jimmerson. The Lord blessed us with two sons: Christian, 14, and Gabriel, 12. We have been together for almost 20 years. I have a passion for discipleship. I love to shepherd, develop and send out more disciples to fulfill God’s great commission.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I truly enjoy dating my wife and hanging out with our sons. Some of my hobbies are: fishing, reading, cycling and traveling.
What did you do before you came to Mercy Street?
Before coming to serve with Mercy Street, I served for 18 years as recruiting director and camp director for Kids Across America. KAA is a faith based sports camp for urban youth 9-18 yrs old.
I know you had many other opportunities, why did you feel like Mercy Street was the best place for you?
There are many reasons why we chose Mercy Street over other organizations. Here are a few:
- Although I am not from the Dallas area, I am just like some of the kids in our community. God simply put different people in my life to give me hope until I was able to see it for myself.
- My wife and I really sensed this is where God was leading us and we want to be obedient to God’s calling. We desire to be agents of change for His glory.
- I believe God has a divine purpose for me to accomplish while serving at Mercy Street to help impact the kids, parents and families in our community for His glory.
- I share many of the same ministry goals as Mercy Street which is to form mutually transformational relationships established and maintained in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
- I have a shepherd’s heart to come along side others to offer support, encouragement, structure and discipline.
- I was impressed with the history and purpose of Mercy Street.
- Trey was offering me an opportunity to come serve beside the founder of the organization. It’s a privilege to be hired and supported by the founder.
What will your role as ED entail?
Ultimately, I am responsible for all day-to-to operations of Mercy Street. My role is to strengthen, develop and strategically prepare our team to do even more in the future.
What do you see for the future of Mercy Street?
I desire to see some of the kids in our community someday leading the charge here at Mercy Street. I plan to explore better ways to engage and get our parents involved with Mercy Street. Finally, I desire to see Mercy Street duplicated in the Dallas metro area to transform our urban communities.