To provide a structured after-school and summer program that provides educational, physical and spiritual benefits to at-risk children in east Waxahachie in a safe, Christian environment.
As a result of a revival at First Baptist Church of Waxahachie in April 1990, Paul Tribble and Bill Pouland were convicted by God to address the needs of the poor in Waxahachie. As they each sought council with their pastor, Leroy Fenton, he put them in touch with each other. In June 1990, Jim and Rhonda Walton moved to town, and they too were seeking what God would have them to do here. Dr. Fenton brought the three families together. They began to meet monthly for 6 months with Bud and Linda McCrady, Tony and Mary Lou Patterson, Danny Hill, Mattie Borders, Lee Turner and Leroy and Jan Fenton for research, discussions, and prayer.
In 1991 this group attended a seminar by Christian Community Development (CCD), a Christ-centered community ministry. With the valuable input of this group, it was decided that focusing on children and the challenges that they confront while growing up in a poor community would be a great place to begin. Six more months of prayer and research passed before it was decided to incorporate into an independent non-profit, naming it Common Ground based on the scripture reference Proverbs 22:2. The rich and poor have a common bond, the Lord is maker of them all.
A Bible Club for children ages 6-12 to develop child/youth leadership was the first step. On June 13, 1991, the first Promise Kids Bible Club began with a “backyard Bible club” format. There were twelve to thirteen children ranging from 6 to 12 years old.
The first annual Common Ground Ministries Banquet was held at First Baptist Church on October 24, 1991 to raise funds as well as introduce the ministry to the broader Waxahachie community. In preparation for this banquet the first CGM brochure was developed with the logo of a rainbow and a cross depicting the hope and promise in Christ. Kathy Dunley, the Executive Director of Voice of Hope Ministries in West Dallas, was the guest speaker. The community was excited to help and shortly after we opened the doors to our very own building and Felicia Snell became the first Executive Director.