It all started because a church needed its parking lot paved…
Jobs for Life was started because Pastor Donald McCoy, pastor of Pleasant Hill United Church of Christ needed his church’s parking lot paved. He had heard of CC Mangum, a paving company headed by Christopher C. Mangum, and decided to give the company a call. Because of circumstances only the Lord can orchestrate, Chris answered the call that day and as he talked to Pastor McCoy, he felt something tugging at him to be the one to service this request even though he could have sent another employee to do it.
So, Chris went. He met Pastor McCoy and one of his church leaders and began measuring the area for the parking lot. After he was finished and as they discussed the project, Pastor McCoy invited Chris to follow them into the church sanctuary. Chris watched as the two men went to the front altar and fell down prostrate. Chris, not knowing what to do, continued to watch until they waved him down the aisle to join them.
That day, Chris found himself lying prostrate between two African American men praying for a parking lot. But as Chris told this story countless times, he realized later they were not praying for a parking lot, they were praying for a relationship instead.
A relationship formed over lunch…
CC Mangum did pave Pleasant Hill’s parking lot. In fact, the project went so well that Chris and Pastor McCoy became close friends, and they decided to meet for lunch on a regular basis. During one of those lunches, Chris shared with Pastor McCoy that several of CC Mangum’s trucks were sitting parked due to lack of drivers. Pastor McCoy responded that he had able-bodied men and women in his church and in his neighborhood who were parked just like Chris’ trucks due to a lack of jobs.
In that moment, they realized each had something the other needed. Chris had jobs, Pastor McCoy had people. They found other pastors and businesspeople who had the same needs, and through their collective efforts, Jobs for Life was born. What was started in a moment during lunch is now a network of churches, ministries, and businesses in cities all over the world training men and women for work and transforming people’s lives.
Praying for thousands of relationships…
Chris and Pastor McCoy thought they were praying for a parking lot. Instead, they were praying for thousands of relationships happening now all across the world where people are bringing hope to the hopeless, helping people learn and experience the dignity of work, and giving glory and praise to God.
These relationships will not end and there are thousands more to come so that the Lord’s legacy through Chris and Pastor McCoy will continue forever.