CANTON — MUST Ministries in Canton celebrated the opening of its new location with an official ribbon-cutting event Thursday.
MUST President and CEO Ike Reighard said the ministry is thrilled, not just about the opening, but also about celebrating 25 years of service by MUST Ministries in Cherokee.
“We’re thrilled for our volunteers, we’re thrilled for our clients,” Reighard said. “I feel like we have, literally, a safer location from a physical point of view, to be able to do the type of ministry we do.”
The ministry had a reception to thank those who donated to the project before conducting a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new facility located at 111 Brown Industrial Parkway in Canton, across from the Sequoyah Regional Library.
Chair of the Board of Directors Adam Ogburn said 10 board members were present for the ribbon-cutting and that the board had been very
“Every board member committed financially to get this done,” Ogburn said. “It’s important to us and it’s important to this community.”
Senior Pastor Gavin Adams of Watermarke Church in Alpharetta consecrated the new building with a prayer and said his church loved MUST.
“I pray that through dignity and through integrity, Father, that we will be able to serve people in a way that doesn’t just meet their physical needs, I pray that we meet their spiritual needs as well,” Adams said.
Twenty people participated in cutting the ribbon, and after, the building was opened for tours. The new facility has a donation center, clothing closet, food pantry, computer lab and office. MUST Spokesperson Kaye Cagle said the administrative focus is food, clothes and employment. Cagle said they have helped 1,600 people find employment since the recession.
The computer lab has 10 computers and a printer. Program Director of Employment Services Beth Ray said the ministry offers many programs, including OSHA training, GED classes and computer training. Ray said there are orientation classes every Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and there is no registration necessary.
MUST Ministries serves approximately 11,000 people in Cherokee every year, reaching about 61 percent of people in need in the area, a spokesperson said. MUST offers employment services, a food pantry, a clothes closet and other assistance.
In addition, MUST has a permanent housing support program where disabled and chronically homeless people can find housing and support. Currently, 42 clients live in MUST Ministries permanent housing and can receive assistance with education and job seeking.
MUST also supports children in school with reduced or no-cost lunches in eight counties, five days a week. Cherokee is one of eight counties MUST serves.