Day 8: Legacy and a new morning in Minden, Louisiana

Kirk Lyman-Barner
Director of US Field Operations

Somebody once said, “Change is the only constant.” I’ve experienced a great deal of change over the past few years including leaving my parents, giving up my full-time insurance business and moving to Georgia, the loss of Millard Fuller and Glen Barton, several staff changes of dear friends and watching our eldest son Levi move out to go to college. So when I had the opportunity to visit with the Webster Parish Fuller Center for Housing board of directors this morning for breakfast, I felt some empathy for their current situation. Having just completed the successful 2012 Millard Fuller Legacy Build, the Minden team is experiencing the transition of their great leader Charlie Park who recently retired as executive director of this incredible covenant partner. I miss Charlie’s great radio voice and his contributions on our monthly Covenant Partner Leadership Calls. There are not enough superlatives to describe Charlie’s accomplishments and contributions over the past 21 years.

We had a great conversation this morning. I shared that transitioning away from my leadership of Almost Heaven Habitat remains one of my greatest accomplishments and that I tease my successor, Michelle Conner that she is my resume. Michelle took our little affiliate to the next level and it is now a $3.5 million dollar a year operation. So change can be an opportunity for greater things for the Webster Parish community.

There are some challenges such as transfer of organizational knowledge, the paying down of debt related to the infrastructure for the Legacy Build subdivision and the need for the board to provide more oversight to the day-to-day operation. But the very talented team I met this morning is up for the challenge. They are taking applications for a new director, continuing to build new homes and thinking about policy tweaks that will help take them to the next level. I could tell by our visit that Webster Parish Fuller Center is going to blossom and continue to be a partner that we look to as a model to replicate.

After breakfast, I took some time to visit Millard Fuller Drive and check out the homes we worked on during the Legacy Build.You can see from the photos that the lawns are neatly groomed and the families have settled in and are doing well in their new neighborhood.

Check out all of the houses on my Facebook photo album and check like if you worked see the house you worked on.  Feel free to leave a comment about your favorite memory.

Tomorrow, I’ll visit one of our companions in this ministry in Jackson, Mississippi and then onto Greenwood to catch up with Rocky Power’s team. Have a great weekend everybody!

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