Minister drawn to area to help teach God’s message

Published 12:02 am Saturday, April 25, 2015

By Morgan Mizell

NATCHEZ — The Rev. Kevin Deason is a man with a heart for God’s people, and he is on a mission to help teach these people God’s message at New Direction Outreach Ministries on Old Washington Road.

“I came to Natchez in 2010, and I rode around town, but I felt drawn to this area, the north side of town.” Deason said. “It just seemed like many people around this area were ‘forgotten,’ and needed someone to reach out to them.”

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Deason is a native of Galveston, Texas, and has been a licensed and ordained minister since 1992.

“Many people are hurting, and may feel ashamed or uneasy about talking about their problems,” Deason said. “Our ministry’s verse is 3rd John 1-2, and it states, ‘I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.’ ”

Deason said the last part of this verse is the first thing they address.

“The soul is made up of our feelings, thoughts, emotions, imaginations, intellect and will,” Deason said. “If any of these areas is out of balance, we are not whole – we are not healthy. So, we have to address the issues in our life, and then we are well and able to prosper.”

New Direction began its meetings in the parking lot of Cambridge Heights apartments.

The services were small, and the weather could interfere with the services. The building currently housing the ministry is an old daycare facility.

“God opened the door for us to get this facility, and we are thrilled to have a location to worship in, rain or shine,” Deason said. “As the ministry expands, we will be looking for our own stand-alone building.”

Currently, about 30 members attend services at New Direction.

“We are a small, but lively congregation,” Deason said. “We have children attending our services, and they are enjoying themselves. They are our future, and we love having them with us, learning the ways of the Lord.”

There are several projects in the works at the church. A job readiness program is the main focus at this time.

“You would be amazed at the number of young people and adults who have never been properly educated on the skills necessary to obtain a job.” Deason said. “We are teaching them basic skills for the job search process, such as writing a resume, filling out a job application, the proper way to dress for an interview and how to go through the interview process.”

A goal of the job program is to collaborate with local business to hire graduates.

“We are also forming outreach teams,” Deason said. “We are in close proximity to Holiday Apartments and Cambridge Heights, and we want to go out into the community and help.”

The ministry also offers anger management classes and counseling for a minimal fee.

“I am certified restorative therapist, and certified anger management specialist,” Deason said. “I never want money to stand in the way of someone getting the help they need or want. We are an affordable alternative to evidence based therapy.”

Deason said he has seen growth in the church.

“At one point, I was concerned, because it would just be my grandson, my wife, and myself here for services,” Deason said. “I just put it in God’s hands, and now we have a regular group of members in attendance.”

Deason said one of the major reasons people do not go to church is the lack of understanding they have about the message being given.

“We teach the practical application of God’s word to people’s lives,” Deason said. “I have seen the light come on for some people while I am preaching, and that is a great feeling. They get it and it excites them.”

Deason said his greatest supporter is his wife, Caroline. He said she believes in what God is doing in their lives, and she is behind him all the way.

Deason mentioned upcoming projects they will present include: Parenting classes, life skills classes and a prison and jail ministries.

“We welcome any and all here, and if someone is unaffiliated with a church, they are invited to come check us out,” Deason said. “We are a non-denominational ministry. We welcome everyone here and want to see people live their lives, applying these teachings to their lives.”

Church services are held every Sunday at 10 a.m. and every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Anyone interested in more information about any of the services offered at New Direction should call 601-451-8546. Also, counseling services are available using Skype.