Early one Sunday morning, as she hurried off to Sunday School at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Dana Malloy was approached by a young neighborhood Hispanic boy on his bicycle. He asked, “Can anyone go to church here?” Stunned that a child would think that they weren’t welcome in the church, Dana responded, “Well, of course! Come with me and I’ll show you in.” To which he responded (quite horrified), “Oh no. My sister says this church is only for rich white ladies!”
And so it began… a congregation reached out in love to embrace a changing neighborhood.
Dana and her friends began the Wonderful Wednesday after-school program, opening their hearts to neighborhood children, providing an opportunity to gather together – learning bible stories, singing songs and sharing fellowship. As they waited on the steps of St. Paul’s Cottage on an October afternoon, they prayed that just a few children would show up…53 children showed up!
As other needs emerged, a food pantry and clothes closet were established and were quickly followed by St. Paul’s Pediatric Clinic, Andrew’s Park and St. Paul’s Dental Clinic. In 1996, St. Paul Children’s Foundation was organized and incorporated to oversee and manage all of the children’s ministries.