Outreach and Missions

Idlewild has an unparalleled commitment to the residents of our community. Midtown is much more to us than just an address. Whether embarking on large-scale initiative, such as building transitional housing apartments, or offering a hot meal and warm fellowship to neighbors in need, members strive to take their faith into the community. The church also supports outreach ministries locally and outside the city limits. Each member is challenged to find the way he or she is called to serve. If you are interested in getting involved in one or more of our outreach ministries, opportunities abound!

The Reverend Sara Dorrien-Christians
Outreach Coordinator
726-4681 ext. 42



Adopt-A-School provides tutors, readers and other classroom helpers for the students of Idlewild Elementary School in Memphis.  Tutors work with specific students. Readers are volunteers who read to kindergarten classes each week. The church hosts Idlewild Elementary's completions ceremonies each May. Each year, the church hosts a back-to-school luncheon for the school's teachers and staff, along with our tutors and readers. For more information contact Kathy James, kjames@barton.edu.

The Children And Family Enrichment Center (CAFE)

Many children and families in Memphis suffer from extreme poverty in addition to the precipitating issues of lack of jobs, education, healthcare, and strong support systems.  Idlewild is committed to responding to the needs of children, prenatal through age 5, and their families in new, expanded, and creative ways. Through the new CAFE ministry, our church is working with other organizations (including the Kemmons Wilson Family Center for Good Grief) dedicated to family care. Through parenting programs, enhanced early childhood education, and enrichment programs, the church will play an active role in caring for children and families in our city.  We are looking forward to an even stronger ministry to children and families in the coming years! For information contact Margaret Burnett, margaret@idlewildchurch.org or 746-9341.

Ministry of Hospitality

On Sunday mornings, our hospitality team provides welcome, care and compassion for God's people seeking assistance.  These members greet, listen to, pray with, and build relationships with guests who need help because of poverty, crisis, mental illness, addiction, or a temporary setback.  For more information contact Alan Glenn, judge.alan.glenn@tncourts.gov

Community Support

Idlewild provides financial and volunteer support of many community ministries, such as Las Americas, The HUB, Caritas Village, Church Health Center, Community Alliance for the Homeless, Door of Hope, Dress for Success, First Presbyterian Soup Kitchen, Friends for Life, Habitat for Humanity, Hope House Day Care Center, Memphis Interfaith Hospitality Network, Memphis Union Mission, MIFA, Mid-South Food Bank and BackPack Program for Brewster Elementary School, World Relief Memphis, Memphis Area Legal Services, Neighborhood Christian Centers, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, Memphis Child Advocacy Center, Books from Birth, RISE Foundation, Samaritan Counseling Center, Refugee Empowerment Center, South Memphis Alliance and St. Therese of Lisieux, Multi-National Ministries, Beating the Odds Ministries, YWCA-Memphs Family Shelter, and Outreach Housing and Community.

Grant request deadlines are in December. Grants are awarded in February.  Each year we provided about $70,000 to local organizations, enabling our church to serve those who receive personal assistance from these nonprofit agencies. “Truly, I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it unto me.” For more information contact Lane Faughnan, lfaughnan@bellsouth.net.

More Than A Meal

5:00 p.m. Worship Service  
5:30 p.m. Free Dinner   

Many people in our city live at or beneath the poverty level, and many spend much of their time alone. Anyone in need is invited to gather every Thursday for our "More Than. . ." ministries. All are welcome to gather for a grace-filled worship service, a delicious, sit-down hot meal, music, prayer, conversation and new friendships. Church members, students and friends come too -- some to help, some to simply share a meal and make new friends. Join us—you can make a real difference in the lives of God’s people in Midtown!  Visit the MTAM page to learn more, or Betty Nelson, bettyb421@att.net

About requests for assistance at the church

Please do not give cash to people who ask for help at church! Each time that happens, the church office gets inundated by guests who come during the week saying, “We heard Idlewild is giving money.” If you would like to respond to people who ask for food or the like, you might carry gift cards for Back Yard Burgers, McDonald’s, etc., to offer. If someone asks for money or help on Sunday mornings, please introduce the guest to one of our Hospitality Team members on call (go to the office). Thank you for the many ways you care for God’s people year round!


McMerton Community Gardens

McMerton Garden in the Binghampton community is expanding each year. Church members, neighbors, and friends share the work and fun, and it's a great way to teach children about growing and eating healthful foods. Our gardeners work with GrowMemphis, which supports community gardens throughout the city.  If you would like to get involved contact                                                                Carl Awsumb, awsumbcarl@me.com or call the church, 901-726-4681.

During the summer, come any Saturday morning, 9-11, or Monday evening, 4-6. Children are always welcome! 

It's All About Sharing Experience, Knowledge, Love, and Making Friends. A big thank you to the Center for Transforming Communities, which featured McMerton Gardens in their August 16, 2013 blog.


Clean Water for the World

Working with Living Waters for the World, our clean water teams have installed purification systems in Ghana and Mexico, trained community members to maintain the systems, and offered community education about the importance of clean water. For more information about Clean Water ministry contact Steve Valentine, swvalent@bellsouth.net.   

We received an inspiring letter that was sent to our Clean Water team from Ometepec, Mexico, the site of our first installation. During the terrible storms and floods in September 2013, the people of Ometepec were able to help neighbors by taking them clean drinking water. 

Living Waters for the World (LWW) is a global mission resource of the Synod of Living Waters (PCUSA). It serves as a resource to churches of all denominations, civic organizations and others in mission, enabling them to provide clean water to communities in need. During the last 20 years, 773 water systems have been installed in 25 nations, 69 new systems installed in 2105. Click here to read an article about LWW's 20th anniversary. Shop Amazon and help LLW! Use the link below, and don't forget to bookmark it! Click here for more info.




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