To understand the ministries of Friendly Chapel you have to start at the beginning. This helps you understand Friendly Chapel to know how we began, why we started, and where we came from.
Paul Holderfield, Sr. was raised very
poor. He liked to tease that there were six “o”s in poor – making it spelled – poooooor. Paul knew what it meant to be poor. He understood being on the receiving end. He knew what it was like being the little kid and go to bed hungry. He knew what it was like to hear his mom pray at night asking God to provide food for her children and the next morning there is a box of groceries on the front porch. He understood.
In the 1950’s during the Little Rock Central High School crisis, Paul Holderfield was a North Little Rock fireman and a bigot. As he stood outside the fire station he was yelling the things that bigots yelled at that time. A black man who had helped Paul and his family walked by. Paul turned his back hoping that Jimmy Lipkin would not recognize him but he did. Jimmy Lipkin approached Paul and stuck his hand out for a hand shake but Paul stuck his hands in his back pockets and refused to shake Jimmy Lipkin’s hand. Paul said it looked as if he had struck the man. Mr. Lipkin left and Paul went into the fire station and wept. He called his wife Barbara and told her that he would never again treat a human being the way that others thought he should treat them.
Years later, after Paul had given his life to Jesus Christ, a church was born in Paul’s mind. Paul wanted this church to be a refuge for everyone. He wanted anyone and everyone to be welcome and treated equally. Thirty-five years later, that is exactly what Friendly Chapel Church is.
We are in a location in North Little Rock that the police have called the worst crime area in the Little Rock area, possibly the entire state. Brother Paul liked to tell that we came into the neighborhood when they did not want us and stayed until they could not do without us.
Friendly Chapel’s mission is Wholly dedicated to meeting people’s needs:
All of the ministries fall under the umbrella of Friendly Chapel F.L.A.M.E., which stands for: Feeding and Loving All Men Equally. Friendly Chapel F.L.A.M.E. includes the following ministries: Soup and Shelter, Thrift Store, Food Pantry, Houses of Hope, and Transitional and Rental Property. Read more about these ministries below:
The Soup Kitchen is operational eight months of the year. During the winter months, November through March, we serve Monday through Friday sit down, in door, family style, all you can eat meals (i.e., soup, beans, chili, etc.) We average serving 80 to 100 people a day.
During the summer months, June through August we serve sack lunches. The lunches provide two sandwiches, chips, snacks, and a cold drink. We average serving 250 to 300 sack lunches a day – Monday through Friday.
Ladies from the Lakewood Extension Homemaker’s Club also help in the Soup Kitchen when extra help is needed. Several members help with the annual Fish and Fowl Dinner held each October to benefit the Soup and Shelter.
The Thrift Store accepts donations from the public on a daily basis. Twice a week we have volunteers to make pick-ups in theLittle Rock and North Little Rock area. Ladies from the Lakewood Extension Home Club and from the Friendly Chapel Church come to sort through these donated items. They are sorted and placed for sale. Nothing in the Thrift Store is sold for over $1.00. The proceeds from the Thrift Store fund the Scholarship Program and also our annual back to school shopping spree (see #6).
Non-perishable food items, donated from the public, are distributed on an as needed basis to individuals and families. A usual box includes meat, canned goods and other non-perishable items. At Thanksgiving and Christmas food boxes are given to those in our neighborhood and community. These boxes are filled to capacity and will feed 8 to 10 people a hearty meal.
Friendly Chapel F.L.A.M.E. purchases homes or has them donated for the F.L.A.M.E. volunteers and staff to completely refurbish. Once these homes have been redone from top to bottom (i.e., interior and exterior painting, repairs of electrical, plumbing, roofing, etc., flooring, appliances) the home is then sold to a family for $200.00 a month for five years. We have three families who have completed this five year process and have one currently purchasing their home.
Friendly Chapel F.L.A.M.E. also has six houses that are rented to retirees or widows for a nominal monthly fee. The transitional home allows families to stay for a year. The rent that they pay of $200.00 is saved for them, allowing them to get back on their feet once they leave. Each of these families does pay for their own utilities.
As stated earlier the Thrift Store along with private donations funds the Scholarship Program. Each semester $250.00 is given to qualifying college students after completing and being approved by their application. Each year in August qualifying children are taken to shop for school clothes. This past year 72 children (from low income families) were taken and purchased $200.00 each school uniforms, under clothing, socks and shoes. This is an exciting time for both children and parents.
Lakewood EHC donated more than $2000 this year to the Scholarship Program and for back-to-school shopping needs!
Memorials and Honorariums made to Friendly Chapel Church of the Nazarene or to Friendly Chapel FLAME are 501 (c)(3) tax deductible. A letter of receipt will be mailed to the donor and also to the family being honored.
Checks may be mailed to:
Friendly Chapel – Memorials
116 S. Pine St.
North Little Rock, AR 72114