God has brought us a long way since we started 1996. We are still a teen center, we still strive to continue with the vision to create that Christ centered facility. We are now just doing it a little differently.
In the summer of 2011 we started a summer lunch program to provide food for kids who no longer were able to take advantage of the free breakfast and lunches they received at school. What started as a food program turned into a new direction for Fire Escape Ministries, Inc. The kids who came to eat saw the stage and the instruments so they ask if the could use them. Several of the kids began to sing and play music. It was incredible and something we didn’t want to stop at the end of the summer. We prayed about it and the Performing Arts Center was birthed.
We are several years into the Performing Arts Center now. We teach vocals, guitar, percussions, American sign language and Praise Dance. Our vocal coach is Ms AJ Mcelrath. Miss AJ as our students affectionately call her, is not only a wonderful voice teacher but a spiritual mentor to our students. We open each class with a charter building lesson. Our goal for them is to strengthen their vocal cords with strategic excercises, to expand their range, to teach them stage presence, how to dress, how to move, as well as ever other aspect of performing on stage. Our vocal classes are currently on Mondays and Thursdays.
On Tuesdays we have Mr. Will Tarter teaching percussions. Will is not only our percussions teacher he doubles as our resident handy man doing everthing from sweeping to changing light bulbs. He is employed at Food City on Eastman road and is an elder at DMI.
Bradford Jones is our guitar teacher. Brad is also on TFE’s board of directors and holds the office of treasurer. He is employeed full time as a financial advisor at Edwards Jones.
Robert Cohen is our Media Specialist. He does all of our videos, teaches photography and web Design. He also helps with fund raising and public relations.
Julia Tate is our volunteer secretary. She has two children who attend our classes and has taken on the task of keeping our Director straight. She maintains the website, the Facebook page and posts all of the events on the calendar as well as does research into grants, finds places for our kids to preform and compete. Thank you Julia !
Jonathon Ferguson is our sound tec and all around volunteer. He has been an invaluable part of TFE since 2007. Jonathon is not afraid of hard work and he never says no. We are very thankful for him and his willingness to drop everything for us. Becasue we don’t thanks him enough, THANK YOU JONATHON!!! He is also the sound tec at Providence Church in Church Hill.