Jesus Said "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." Matthew 28: 19-20
Back about 1945 the “Bridge Park was part of an attraction called Doe Doe Park that featured a huge swimming pool with spring board diving boards as well as a high diving platform. I don't know how many people could swim in it but it was a lot. The pools water was fed by an underground spring that still exists today. There was also a roller skating rink, and a petting zoo with a mini train that would go through the park. The bridge that the train used to go over is still there and part of the new Bridge Park only it is a walking bridge now. Doe Doe Park was a very popular place but it has a dark history too. You see the owners of the park would not allow Blacks or Native Americans into the park so there was much racial tension. There were civil rights demonstrations that received national coverage until the Courts ruled that if they were to open they had to allow all law abiding people of all colors in, sadly the owners decided they would stand their ground and just closed the park down. There was an attempt to reopen the park in the mid 1980's but too much damage had been done and all that people seemed to remember was the bad history of Doe Doe Park and it soon closed for good. The park sat in disrepair for years and years until it was bought by a local business man for new development. Everything was demolished and sadly the old pool was filled in with the debris until all that remained was the vacant land and a series of small foot bridges that cross over the drainage canals and the old train bridge. Over the years time and the elements took their toll on the bridges and other small structures that were left standing and they became an eyesore for people to look at. Now not only were most of the memories of the old Doe Doe Park bad but it looked the part as well. Time went by and that local business man tried and tried to sell the property and do different developments with it but to no avail, it was as if the land itself had a curse on it. In 2003 while driving down “D” Avenue as he had hundreds of times Kim Shahan heard God tell him to stop at the old site where the bridges were, and Kim being the devout Christian man he is pulled off the road and allowed God to speak to him. Kim heard from God telling him; you are to restore this place and there will be reconciliation between all the people who have been harmed here. This will be a place like that spoken of in Isaiah 61. Kim went to work cleaning the old park up with the help of a group of believers he calls the Nehemiah Team. There was a lot of blood sweat and tears that went into the restoration of the old place. In October 2003 there was a celebration of the reopening of the old park with the bad reputation but with a new name The Bridge Park, and a new mission you see it is called The Bridge Park not only because it has several bridges in it, but because it is a park bridging the injustices from the past and reconciling them with the present by the anointment of the Holy Spirit the land is reclaimed in the name of Jesus Christ!
We were blessed to be part of the Nehemiah Team that helped Kim restore The Bridge Park but little did we know standing there that beautiful October day in 2003 that this was only the beginning of what God had in mind to do with the Park and that His plan would include us serving there every week. There have been many different things that have been done in the park since then & I often wondered why all that work was done if it was just going to sit there not be used to its fullest potential. I have been reminded that mans timetable is not the same as Gods. You see I have been seeing the park put to very little use and wished someone would come in and put it to work. Well that brings us to 2009.
On September 19, 2009 my wife Julie myself and several volunteers from various churches began serving the people of the Bridge Park neighborhood. We serve a variety of needy people from the homeless, to low income families and single mothers. Each Saturday we serve a hot meal, give all types clothing, shoes, and coats away, we have a wonderful children's ministry where children can learn about Jesus, color and play games. We give away diapers to parents and grand parents of small children. We share the gospel for those who choose to stay and listen but most of all we want to demonstrate the Love of Jesus Christ by serving them.
The History of
The Bridge Park/Doe Doe Park
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