“I know the philosophy of church-school partnerships works because of the transformation that took place in my own life.”
Over twenty-five years ago, a principal at a local Dallas high school contacted Tony Evans about an unusually high level of unrest at his school. At that time, the school was experiencing increased gang activity as well as other disruptive behaviors by students.
Dr. Evans responded to the call by sending twelve men to regularly walk the halls and restore order. Not only that, but he personally gathered all of the teen boys in the auditorium for a time to challenge them toward making right choices.
Before long, the school began to experience calm and stability. A change of atmosphere more conducive to learning emerged. Shortly after that, the principal was promoted to superintendent over a large cluster of schools and invited Dr. Evans and his church outreach ministry, now called The Turn•Around Agenda, to serve in all of the schools underneath his leadership. The social impact of this school intervention quickly spread to neighboring clusters as well. What began as a crisis intervention in one school has now become proactive intervention in over 65 public schools in Dallas County and parts of Fort Worth.
In 2006, The National Church Adopt-a-School Initiative was officially formed to both train and equip churches on how to replicate this proven model of social outreach in their area. NCAASI promotes community revitalization through church-based social services by leveraging the existing structures of both churches and schools.
“As a boy growing up in the inner city of Baltimore, Maryland, I experienced firsthand the challenges that urban kids face in trying to rise above the poverty, family disintegration, violence, promiscuity and chemical addictions that breed hopelessness in so many of our young people and their families.
The reason for the challenges that so many face is a result of the separation of the spiritual from the social. There is a horrific disconnect between the role of the church on Sunday and the condition of hurting people on Monday. This changed in my own life and family when my father discovered the life-giving power of faith and began integrating the spiritual throughout our everyday lives. This reality, coupled with the impacting influence of a mentor named Martin, dramatically altered the trajectory of my life to where I am today.” - Tony Evans