In celebration of Black History Month, NBC 6 is reflecting on the past and looking toward the future in our series, "Finishing the Dream."
It's a dream Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of during his "I Have a Dream" speech some 48 years ago.
We're profiling those striving to finish Dr. King's vision.
Tonight, we're looking at Praise Temple Full Gospel Baptist Cathedral in Shreveport.
The ministry helps people who have fallen, hitting rock bottom after stumbling on hard times.
We are going out in the community to meet the needs and to touch lives at a church whose motto is: its doors swing on the hinges of love. This church really goes beyond its four walls.
In practicing what he preaches, Bishop Larry Brandon, Praise Temple Cathedral right across the street, acquired 75 percent of the land and the city erected this sign in his honor.
The church is a reflection of the community, whatever the community looks like. It's a reflection of the church. It doesn't matter if the church is a beautiful building, but if the community around it is dilapidated then we are not serving the community all," Brandon said.
In carrying on the legacy of Dr. King, Bishop Brandon believes in giving the economically disadvantaged a hand up, not a hand out. His "4th Saturday Volunteers" helped a woman whose eight children were taken away by the state because her home was not up to the code for the children to live there safely.
"We went into that house and renovated that home and a few days before Christmas all 8 children returned home," Bishop Brandon said.
The Allendale community is very close to Bishop Brandon's heart. He created "The Fourth Saturday" so every 4th Saturday his congregation comes here and they go to homes like this one and pick up trash and then some."
"We've partnered with the city to assist with those homes instead of the those homes being taken because they can't meet certain codes because a lot of people cannot afford to meet the codes, so we're going in to lightly renovate to do our part to save these homes and keep theses homeowners in their homes."
And as the saying goes, this world is round, and what you put in it you will get back. So prayerfully, this will become a news place of worship, breaking ground on Easter Sunday of 2013. It's a 40,000 square foot multi-purpose facility, but most importantly, he shares this motto with Dr. King...
"We are better together."
What's more, just this past week, Bishop Brandon and Praise Temple opened "The Center for Hope Substance Abuse Facility."
It offers a holistic approach that helps those suffering from all types of addictions and their families...Written and reported by Michelle White Lafitte, NBC 6 News Anchor