In 1996, Pastor Ross Cullins sent several of his staff members on a fact finding mission to learn more about community development and how the Solid Rock Baptist Church could get involved. We discovered that there were many churches doing some amazing things in their communities across the country. In 1997, Dr. Cullins, along with Pastor Willie Jones of New Mt. Calvary B.C. took a trip to Jamaica Queens, New York to visit with Dr. Floyd Flakes. They wanted to get a firsthand view of major work the Allen AME Church had accomplished in their community.
After two years of research, attending conferences, meetings, and workshops Pastor Cullins assembled his founding board of directors to organize the Solid Rock Community Development Corporation. They were Pastor Cullins-Chairman, Ester Wynn-Vice Chairman, Larry Johnson-Treasurer, Lorrie Oderbert-Secretary, Mamie Wells, Edward Bullock, Veronica Curtis, and Dr. Nick Patzakis. We wanted to address the important issues facing families in the Northeast Houston Community and to assist in bringing about a positive change in our area.
Upon organizing, we immediately hired a consultant to assist in filing all the legal documentation needed to complete the incorporation process. We received our charter from the State on Texas September 29, 1998. We began to network with more established organizations such as the Greater Houston URC, the Hampton Foundation, the United Way, LISC-Local Initiative Support Corporation, and Pleasant Hill CDC. Learning from these organizations assisted us in laying a solid foundation for our community development corporation.
The Choose Life Summer Day Camp, under the leadership of Rev. Vernon Hubbard was the first program of the Solid Rock CDC. It was adopted from the Solid Rock Baptist Church. The Choose Life Summer Day Camp gave birth to the Urban Ranch, a nine-acre campsite that will serve as home for our summer day camp programs. The site was purchased in April 2000 and is presently under construction.
In 1998, under the leadership of Mrs. Erma White, we organized an Adult Education Program that focuses on Basic Literacy, English as a Second Language and GED preparation.
In 2001, we started making preparations to kick off our affordable homeownership program under the leadership of Mrs. Doris Dodd. Presently, we have conducted numerous homebuyer workshops to assist first time homebuyers in this very delicate process. We also sponsored the rebuilding of a Northeast Houston home severely damaged by Tropical Storm Allison.
The foundation has been laid and we want you to join us in this ministry of service to our community. The changes don’t happen overnight, but they do happen. As long as there are needs to be met, we have work to do.