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Light and Shadow

Acts Community - They had no need

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

By Sharon Miner | Published The Upbeat Reporter Fall 2023

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” Acts 3:42

Chad Conner has such a deep understanding of this passage of scripture, he made it a reality. As founder and executive director of Acts Community, Chad’s dream was to create a community that operated like the one in the Book of Acts in the Bible. A community where the people looked after each other. “The community in Acts had no need because of the way they lived. They were a group of people who were sold out to Jesus and cared for one another giving everything they had to the ministry and to each other. Hunger didn’t happen because the community didn’t allow it to happen,” he remarked. For Chad, community has a special meaning. At age 21 he moved to Las Vegas from Amarillo and found himself struggling with the challenges of addiction. The Lord saved him and brought him through.

For Chad, community has a special meaning. At age 21, he moved to Las Vegas from Amarillo and found himself struggling with the challenges of addiction. The Lord saved him and brought him through.

During the journey he realized how important his community was in helping him move past all the negativity and into sobriety from the decade of darkness. When he turned to the Lord, He was right there. His family, friends, and church were all a part of the community that helped him as he stumbled through life and figured it out.

“Community means more to me than most people because it was my community that saved me. It was the love, support, and acceptance from a group of people who knew I was broken.

They embraced me and I could not be where I am today if it were not for the people who stood by me in my time of need,” he said speaking from a deep place in his heart. “I felt I needed to be that for other people. The desire to start Acts Community comes from a place of experience, not just an idea or a goal, but I came through it and wanted to be someone who could be that branch to offer to other people.”

Acts Community started in 2013 in a building in the San Jacinto area in Amarillo. The goal was to be a life line to the community and meet some of the needs that Jesus said to just go do. Chad admits he had no idea what he was doing. He just knew it had always been a desire of his heart to make the city better.

Seven years ago, Chad and his team realized the senior population was an underserved group, and a lunch program was created at the San Jacinto location. Chad stated, “We quickly learned the food is important, but the fellowship was the key to their heart. That revelation came through a lady named Shirley, who visited our center. She had no friends or family, weighed 87 pounds and was battling cancer. At the time of her passing, we had to rent a bus to escort all her friends she had made at Acts Community to attend her funeral services. It was at that point I realized the impact Acts Community could have in creating deep relationships. Yes, Shirley was hungry, but most of all she was lonely and that is what was killing her.”

In 2022 Acts Community bought a 50,000 sq ft building at 816 S. Van Buren where the senior activity center is now located. About 5000 sq ft has been renovated and opened in May of 2023 for senior lunch program and activities.

When we think of needs, we often think of physical needs. But sometimes the need is emotional and spiritual. Acts Community created a place where people can make friends, laugh, have fun, share birthdays, and have the hard conversations about life.

Acts Community provides fellowship and acceptance to a population that is sometimes ignored.

“I was not prepared for the impact Acts Community would have on me. My life is better than I can imagine. The work is hard sometimes, but it is incredibly fulfilling. It has changed me forever. You can’t serve the Lord and step into your calling and not have it improve your life. So, for me even though it looks so different than I imagined a decade ago, it has made my life complete. I have purpose and I get to do it with my wife, and that has brought it full circle,” commented Chad.

Maybe it is possible to create a community where there is no need.

If you would like to support the Acts Community financially or volunteer to help with lunch or activities visit the website.

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