Shelter founder speaks to Selma Rotary

Published 5:07 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2024

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Gospel Tabernacle Church Pastor John E. Grayson was the guest speaker at Selma Rotary Club on Monday at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church.

Grayson discussed why he opened the Winston Williams Shelter for the Homeless and what the ministry means to him.

“I consider myself to be a smart man,” Grayson said. “My plan was to do fundraising in the summer of 2024 and open the homeless shelter in the winter,” Grayson said. “But, it was not God’s plan. God’s plan was to open the shelter now. I talked to my wife, Dr. CeCe Grayson, and we opened the shelter.”

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For Grayson, opening the homeless shelter was a reminder of his upbringing in Thomasville.

“I am a person who is very familiar with being hungry and very familiar with being without clothes,” Grayson said. “I got hand-me-down clothes. I grew up in a two-room house.”

Grayson said his ministry partners buy the materials and Samaritan’s Purse volunteers do the work, labor which he estimates as valued at over $75,000. Grayson said a company called Midnight performed the plumbing work.

The homeless shelter is open daily from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. and when it rains, the shelter is open 24 hours.

Grayson said that the homeless shelter houses more men, but the women are cleaner. He appreciates the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) and Selma Police Department (SPD) for their cooperation and assistance. He also thanked groups such as Edmundite Missions, KFC Selma and the Academy for their contributions.

Grayson said that more work is being done at the homeless shelter, especially in the bathrooms as well as the addition of more beds. Items such as disinfectant supplies, cleaning supplies, coffee, assorted snacks, dryer sheets, bleach, detergent, cups and spoons are needed.

“We will take any kind of clothes for men and women,” Grayson said. “We take monetary donations. We accept volunteers.”