Site Spotlight: Begin Anew Middle TN

Begin Anew 2003 Graduates

CWJC Site Spotlight: Begin Anew
By Kaylee Poston

“I do believe that every day God hears the cries and prayers of [people] in our community seeking to overcome the obstacles caused by poverty.”

These words spoken by Rebekah Sumrall reflect the heart of Begin Anew, a Christian Women’s Job Corps site impacting Middle Tennessee. Sumrall serves as executive director for Begin Anew. Through this program, men and women are taught job and life skills that empower them to rise up out of poverty and find hope for their futures.

Middle Tennessee is a region of incredible diversity. Its residents include refugees, immigrants, and United States citizens of all different cultures. In fact, this area has the fifth-largest population of foreign residents in the country. However, about 18 percent of all occupants live below the poverty line. This number increases exponentially when looking at the younger demographic, as about 30 percent of Middle Tennessee children live in poverty. As wealth disparities continue to cause problems in these communities, Begin Anew strives to develop sustainable change by providing adults with resources and skills to be successful professionally and personally.

Begin Anew began its site at Lockeland Baptist Church as a ministry of the Nashville Baptist Association. The program offers resources like GED classes, computer and job skills courses, and English as a second language education. Every student attends three hours of class and one hour of Bible study per week. This presents opportunities for volunteers to address the participant’s whole self by encountering his or her physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. The program graduated its first four students in 2003. Today, it has the capacity to enroll 210 students annually across seven satellite locations. Its central office resides within the Nashville Baptist Association, and three sites are housed around the Nashville community. Two sites are housed in the Madison area and two sites are located in Williamson County.

One unique feature of Begin Anew is its ability to accommodate families. Begin Anew offers the only adult education classes in the county that provide free child care for students. The children are provided a fun and safe environment so that their parents can fully focus on classwork. The 300 volunteers that faithfully serve this program and the ministry team that oversees the entire operation make these services possible. God continues to grow and develop this site in incredible ways, expanding its reach to the masses in Nashville and surrounding communities.

Begin Anew continues to disrupt the cycle of poverty by giving men and women a hand up into financial and spiritual stability. National CWJC is deeply grateful for the dedication of all who play a role in what God is doing through this site, and we pray with great expectation for what God will continue to do through Begin Anew in the years to come.

 Kaylee Poston is a University of Montevallo student and is an intern with the Adult Resource Team and WorldCrafts Team. She is incredibly excited to be sharing the stories of God’s incredible faithfulness through the ministries of WMU. 






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