High hopes: Texarkana nonprofit envisions new chapel as place for men to grow

Founder Danny Stone, left, listens as his mother, Judy Stone, speaks about Restoration of Hopes' new transitional home for men, Hope Chapel, during a ribbon cutting Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, in Texarkana, Texas. Residents of Hope Chapel standing behind Stone onstage. (Staff photo by Sharda James)
Founder Danny Stone, left, listens as his mother, Judy Stone, speaks about Restoration of Hopes' new transitional home for men, Hope Chapel, during a ribbon cutting Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, in Texarkana, Texas. Residents of Hope Chapel standing behind Stone onstage. (Staff photo by Sharda James)

TEXARKANA, Texas-- "Turning a mess into a message" is the motto the men at Restoration of Hope live by and also the same words plastered on the walls of the new transitional home.

On Wednesday, Restoration of Hope held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil Hope Chapel, its new bunkhouse facility at 1116 Walnut St. The ceremony brought out Mayor Bob Bruggeman; Denis Washington, CEO of Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce; and other officials and residents.

Bruggeman spoke on how proud he is of the men at the facility and the opportunities the new site will bring to Texarkana.

"This a great opportunity with Restoration of Hope. They do great work in the community," Bruggeman said. "They take men who have fallen on a hard time or has been in prison and help teach them a skill and help mold them to follow Christ and to stay on the right path."

Bruggeman also issued a call.

"I encourage the citizens in the community who need things done around the house like landscaping or hanging Christmas lights to think about the men at Restoration of Hope to come out to help," Bruggeman said.

Danny Stone, founder of Restoration of Hope, spoke on his vision for the home.

"Today we are celebrating the opening of our new chapel and the future home to 24 beds for men coming out of prison, with a 90-day transition program while finding the love of Jesus Christ," Stone said. "This new chapel will allow us to worship the Lord and have Bible classes."

With Hope Chapel, Restoration of Hope can now serve up to 100 men at a time.

"We are also currently looking for people to help partner up with us to help provide mattresses, beds and other necessities," Stone said.

Restoration of Hope is a faith-based nonprofit established in 2020 to help men transition from prison, homelessness or drug abuse. The goal is to build men of God, according to Stone.

The organization has helped more than 1,500 men with transitional housing, addiction, family and spiritual counseling, and job training in welding, electrical work, HVAC and other trades.

Last year, 18 men completed the 90-day program.

Marquis Ewings, a graduate of Restoration of Hope, now owns a food truck and store for his food business, Big Slice's Place.

Graduate Nathaniel "Preacher Man" Russ has had his share of dealing with addiction and prison stays and now is house manager at Sober Living. He also works in construction.

"I inherited the nickname Preacher Man in prison, because after a couple of months there, a combination of 20-year sobriety I threw away, staying out for 30 years, I lost my wife in 2017, I was always preaching to these young guys," Russ said.

Russ, who said he once possessed $500,000, said he came to Restoration of Hope on faith.

"If I wouldn't have lost everything, I wouldn't have heard him (God)," Russ said. "I'm not better than no man in here; I just want to be a help to others."

Restoration of Hope also offers services to the community, including Christmas light installation, lawn care, tree trimming, cleanup, trash hauling and remodeling. Proceeds from the services directly benefit the ministry.

The organization also is trying to raise $120,000 to fund construction expenses for the facility

For information, call the organization at 903-272-1222 or Stone at 870-833-3488, or visit RestorationofHopes.com.

photo Founder Danny Stone, left, listens as his mother, Judy Stone, speaks about Restoration of Hopes' new transitional home for men, Hope Chapel, during a ribbon cutting Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, in Texarkana, Texas. Residents of Hope Chapel standing behind Stone onstage. (Staff photo by Sharda James)
photo Danny Stone, founder of Restoration of Hopes, holds the ceremonial scissors during the ribbon cutting for Hope Chapel on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, in Texarkana, Texas. The bunkhouse facility is at 1116 Walnut St. (Staff photo by Sharda James)

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