Tag Archives: homeless ministry

Anthony Wood’s MissionMessage + News from ACU

A note from my friend Anthony Wood – the evangelist for River City Ministry. RCM is a ministry to the poor and homeless in North Little Rock, AR, and my dad has served as executive director there for many years now.

I love these stories:

Carol, Lord, remember him? You know him because he talks to you everyday, all day long. He came into my office to share how You work in his life. He went to River City Church yesterday after rededicating his life back to You last Thursday. He enjoyed himself and appreciated the fellowship. Here’s the good part, Lord. 
Carol smiled, “Let me tell you how good God is, Bro. Anthony. I only had three dollars in my pocket when I was at church, and I thought, I’m hungry, so I’ll go to McDonalds and get what I can get for those few dollars. But the Spirit moved me to trust the Lord, and so I gave it all to Him.”
Carol gave all that he had to live on. Seems like I read somewhere about a widow who did that.
Anyway, Carol left church and walked towards the river bridge and came upon a couple of ladies handing out fliers about their church feeding the homeless in the next few weeks. He thanked the kind ladies as his stomach growled. One of the ladies turned and said, “You must be hungry, God is telling me to give you this. Get yourself something good to eat.” It was a ten dollar bill.
“I went to a Chinese Buffet and ate like a king, Bro. Anthony! God always has something for me, everyday. I just have to look for it. I just have to listen for His voice. It may be a good meal or it might be me telling someone about Jesus, but God always has something for me, everyday. So, I listen for Him, and I look for Him, everyday, all day.”
Lord, Carol gave his all and You returned to him 3 times back what he gave to You. He looks for You. He listens for You. And, Carol sees You. He hears You. He follows You. He obeys You.
“It’s just not that hard Bro. Anthony to find God working. He’s all around.”
Lord let me practice Your presence, every moment, of every day, looking for You, listening for Your voice.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matt. 6:3, NIV).
Anthony Wood, Evangelist
River City Ministry
North Little Rock AR

 Great stuff 🙂

Anthony regularly sends out updates like this. If you’d like to be added to the email list, send him a note at awoodxulon@yahoo.com asking to be.


I also found this story about ACU to be interesting … here’s an excerpt:

Abilene Christian University is on the cusp of a new faith era.

The school is preparing to host its first student body with a majority of students coming from denominations and faiths other than the Church of Christ — the school’s cornerstone denomination since its founding in 1906.

Last year was the first time the school had a freshman class with a majority of students — about 53 percent — who don’t claim affiliation with the Church of Christ. This fall’s freshmen have the same proportion.

Read the full story: ACU’s religious face taking a change

The article says the reason for this change in the makeup of the student body is because the Church of Christ is losing membership nationwide, and young people are bucking denominational loyalties.

Interesting take, though I wonder if that’s the real reason. I’m curious if other traditionally Church of Christ schools are experiencing the same type of thing … does anyone know?

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Anthony Wood’s MissionMessage – 6/15/09

More good stuff from my buddy Anthony Wood – RCM’s evangelist. This is an amazing, true story from the streets of North Little Rock.

The folks at RCM saved a homeless guy from comitting suicide, and then he turned around and saved a woman from being raped. Check it out:

Lord, what’s it like to save a life? You’ve done it so many times. What’s it like to see death coming for someone and then, You rescue them, save her life, without them really knowing what has happened until it’s over? What’s like to know, that without a shadow of doubt, someone has entered the shadow of the valley of death, with no exit in sight, and be lifted up and out of the pit? You do this quite often. Thanks for letting me watch.

 Some people call him Joe, but his name really is John. He’s a good man with a devastating problem, and fatal. He’s been an alcoholic for quite some time, but that’s all changing now. Because, of You.

 A couple of weeks ago John called me over as I walked across RCM’s parking lot. He said, “I only want to ask one thing of you Bro. Anthony.” I said, “Sure, if I can.” With a cold stare he spoke, “I only want you to pray for my soul because what I’m about to do I know is against God. Today is the day.” I asked, “Ok, what is it?” He stared, “I’m not telling you.” I smiled, “Then, I’m not praying for you.” Lord, I rarely do that, I mean, not honor that type of request, but it was my first mind and I credit Your Spirit with that answer. I stared back, and he was the first to blink, “Ok, I’ll tell you.” I took him to my office.

 “Today’s the day,” John said with resolution. “For what?” I asked. “It’s over, today I’m gonna end it all. I’m tired of the pain, the chemo, I’ve had for the cancer I got from working on a job that had asbestos. And now, they want to do surgery, I don’t want them to cut on me. I gave away my last money to help some homeless people get a room. I’m gonna go to the river, it’s pretty swift, yeah, that should do it. I need you to pray for me Bro. Anthony, to ask God to have mercy on me, because today I’m gonna kill myself, will you let me use your phone to call my sister in Milwaukie so I can tell her goodbye?”

 Amanda, our lead social worker said he would kill himself without some major intervention, Lord. He had all the classic signs of a person going to commit suicide. He had a plan, renounced his religion knowing God would not be pleased with his choice to die, gave away all his money, called is sister to say “goodbye,” but really through the defensiveness, he was crying out from the deepest part of his soul, “Help!”

 He finally broke and agreed to go to the ER, thanked and hugged us when they took him back. It wasn’t long that he called threatening a lawsuit and asking why we did this to him, meaning lockdown. Well, of course, we didn’t make that decision. He did when the doctors reasoned that he was a danger to himself and others. They locked him down, the best thing that could’ve happened to him.

 Four days later, John was out of the hospital, in an outpatient program and making his meetings, sober, and on his way to a halfway house to have the accountability he needs in his life. He came to me saying, “You guys literally saved my life. Thank you.”

 A Saturday night a couple of weeks ago, while John was trying to sleep, he heard a ruckus next door to his apartment and a woman screaming. He got in the door to find three men hovering over a woman, naked on the floor, high from the drugs planted in her drink, and a table on top of her they has just thrown to hold her down.

 John, Lord, stepped I, like You did for him, and told the guys he wasn’t going for it. He picked her up, as their mouths hung open, left, clothed her, and put her on the bus with a bit of money to continue her escape.

 The next day, Sunday, John came to Clint to say, “I’m ready. I’ve put this off for too long but now I’m ready. I want God to have all of my life.” So Lord, You rescued John yet again, but this time for eternity. The new John, surrendered, come up out the water leaving the old corpse of sin in the grave.

 Lord, You are a rescuing God, and I guess that’s because that’s just the way You are, and how You want us to be. We at RCM, because You lead us, rescued John, and in turn John rescued that lady, and in turn You rescued John from Satan and sin.

 And by the way, Lord, thanks also for rescuing Bill last Sunday afternoon, whom You saved when he took the pile of pills to kill himself. You sent the police to find him behind an abandoned building that few people frequent. He woke up in the hospital alive. He still struggles, but he believes more in You now. You, Lord, the Great Rescuer. Thanks for letting me just be a servant boy in Your kingdom work of rescuing people You love.

 “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks for his unfailing love, and his wonderful deeds for men (Psalms 107:19-21, NIV).”

Anthony Wood, Evangelist
River City Ministry
North Little Rock AR

 Love it!

To subscribe to Anthony’s updates from RCM, send an note to awoodxulon@yahoo.com requesting to be added to the MissionMessage email list.

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God’s Work Through River City Ministry in the First Half of ’09

Just got this note from Anthony Wood – full time evangelist for River City Ministry. I’ve written about River City several times before having spent a good part of my growing up years being influenced by this ministry. My dad, Jim Woodell, currently serves as the Executive Director there, and my brother-in-law filled that position before him.

River City Ministry is a mission to North Little Rock, AR’s, poor and homeless population with facilities located in a pretty rough part of town.

Free groceries, shelter, clothing, showers, toiletries, medical services, prescriptions, eye and dental care, daily meals, and a host of other services are provided by the good people at River City.

But there’s one more thing: they also have a full-time evangelist on staff whose sole purpose is to share Jesus with those coming there for other services, and check out these results.

Here’s the email I just got from Anthony Wood – River City’s evangelist:

Hey guys, here’s the latest in God’s work to save souls. Praises go to God. Thanks to all for the great teamwork we share and enjoy that glorifies God. It is a pleasure serving with you.

We at RCM believe each person’s response to God, whether for the first time, or a return to God, is precious. Please take time to pray over this list that each person may come to know Christ and make Him known.


 2009 River City Ministry Baptisms:

  1. 1/12 Alfred T.
  2. 1/14 Randy T.
  3. 1/15 Pamela M.
  4. 1/20 Ray T.
  5. 1/20 Teraz H.
  6. 2/9 Tony M.
  7. 2/10 Ricky B.
  8. 2/12 Clara H.
  9. 2/17 Gracie H.
  10. 2/24 Alonzo P.
  11. 2/26 Oliver S.
  12. 3/2 Lee B.
  13. 3/2 Loretta D.
  14. 3/10 Krystal W.
  15. 3/10 Darren B.
  16. 3/11 Bill K.
  17. 3/12 Ronnie T.
  18. 3/18 Vicki B.
  19. 3/24 Frederick F.
  20. 3/30 Tawana H.
  21. 4/1  Claude A.
  22. 4/6  Tim S.
  23. 4/6  Jackie G.
  24. 4/6  LaVonne T.
  25. 4/8 Tony B.
  26. 4/9 Freddie W.
  27. 4/14 John G.
  28. 4/15 Rachel M.
  29. 4/15 Buford B.
  30. 4/22 Ken P.
  31. 4/23 Frieda R.
  32. 4/27 Norman S.
  33. 4/28 Quartez S.
  34. 4/29 Chris H.
  35. 4/29 Bryan S.
  36. 5/6 Christy C.
  37. 5/7 Shawn C.
  38. 5/12 Mary B.
  39. 5/13 Cleophus B.
  40. 5/18 Brian T.
  41. 5/21 Mike R.
  42. 5/27 Adam M.
  43. 5/28 Helen D.
  44. 6/1 Kristopher S.
  45. 6/8 George B.
  46. 6/8 James T.

2009 River City Ministry Restorations:

  1. 1/6 Billy B.
  2. 1/8 Mack Y.
  3. 1/8 Rita W.
  4. 1/12 Geraldine L.
  5. 1/13 Aaron J.
  6. 1/20 Carlton W.
  7. 1/21Cherry W.
  8. 1/22 Lilly W.
  9. 1/25 Donald B.
  10. 2/3 Brian S.
  11. 2/3 Wesley B.
  12. 2/4 Sharon H.G.
  13. 2/4 Gary Z. W.
  14. 2/4 Anthony S.
  15. 2/4 Michael Y.
  16. 2/5 Dan S.
  17. 2/11Adam M.
  18. 2/11Stephen S.
  19. 2/17 Alonzo M.
  20. 2/17 Willie L.
  21. 2/17 Ron M.
  22. 2/17 Earl M.
  23. 2/17 David R.
  24. 2/17 Ronnie K.
  25. 2/19 Billy B.
  26. 2/25 Oliver S.
  27. 2/26 Donald J.
  28. 2/26 Marcus T.
  29. 2/26 Joanna S.
  30. 3/2 Manuel O.
  31. 3/2 Desmond A.
  32. 3/4 Adrian B.
  33. 3/4 Wiley C.
  34. 3/4 Christy S.
  35. 3/9 Robert B.
  36. 3/10 Marty R.
  37. 3/16 Earle M.
  38. 3/17 Bryant R.
  39. 3/17 Barry M.
  40. 3/18 Albert B.
  41. 3/24 Terrence C.
  42. 3/25 Gary M.
  43. 3/30 Gastivus H.
  44. 4/1  Lloyd P.
  45. 4/1  Oliver S.
  46. 4/1 Tochelle W.
  47. 4/6  John G.
  48. 4/7 Larry H.
  49. 4/7 Kay M.
  50. 4/7  Ruth J.
  51. 4/13 Joe K.
  52. 4/16 Jeremy R.
  53. 4/20 Michael F.
  54. 4/21 Yolanda C.
  55. 4/21 Keith M.
  56. 4/22 Shantana M.
  57. 4/26 Sara B.
  58. 4/29 Danny P.
  59. 5/4 James W.
  60. 5/4 Calvin C.
  61. 5/6 Odell D.
  62. 5/7 Samuel T.
  63. 5/11 Willie J.
  64. 5/14 Mike H.
  65. 5/18 Kenneth H.
  66. 5/20 Ricky N.
  67. 5/21 Steve K.
  68. 5/26 Jay A. G.
  69. 5/27 Ed D.
  70. 5/28 John G.
  71. 6/1 Robert G.
  72. 6/5 James T.


What an encouraging update!

I’ve heard Anthony often refer to River City as a well just like the one Jesus was sitting by in John 4. The Samaritan woman came there for one thing (water), but she found something else (Jesus).

Anthony says, “Our job is just to find the wells, Wes. River City is a well. People come here for our goods and services, but they find something else. They find Jesus!”

The “well” for me is the university campus that sits a few hundred yards from my front door.

I think I’ll go sit there a while … I wonder who God will send me …


P.S. – Anthony will be speaking at the 2009 CMU Workshop July 9 at Harding on how evangelism to the poor can equal evangelism to a university campus. Should be good stuff – I’m looking forward to it. Here’s Anthony’s bio for the event.

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