FAITH IN ACTION: Marine went from leading troops to leading home-building efforts in Louisiana

FAITH IN ACTION: Marine went from leading troops to leading home-building efforts in Louisiana

(This is the latest installment of our “Faith in Action” series. If you have a story of how involvement with The Fuller Center has impacted your faith, please let us know at this link.)

Lee Jeter grew up economically disadvantaged in Bossier City, Louisiana, but he was fortunate to grow up in a home that was rich with love — thanks to his single mother who worked two jobs while raising seven children and two nieces.

She instilled in son Lee the values of hard work, faith and determination — values that served him well during 20 years in the United States Marine Corps. Today, he puts those values to work as executive director of The Fuller Center for Housing of Northwest Louisiana in Shreveport and Bossier City — one of the international nonprofit’s most productive covenant partners.

KTBS-TV featured Lee’s story in a series called “Hometown Patriot,” which you can view below:

New house for once-homeless Army veteran, wife built in memory of teen

New house for once-homeless Army veteran, wife built in memory of teen

(Photo, from left: Fuller Center for Housing of Northwest Louisiana Executive Director Lee Jeter, Sterling and Rhonda Combs, Bryan and Peri Reed. Mrs. Combs is holding a photo of Molly Reed, in whose memory their home was built.)

Army veteran Sterling Combs and his wife, Rhonda, have seen their share of hard times, but they have come all the way back from years of addiction and homelessness. Today, they have a new two-bedroom, one-bath Fuller Center home in Bossier City, Louisiana, thanks to churches and a community that came together to honor Molly Reed’s spirit of joy and compassion.

Molly Reed

Molly was 15 when she died in a car wreck with friends Katy Watkins and Emily Perdue in 2006. All three girls were passionate about helping others, and two Bossier City homes already have been built in honor of Katy Watkins. A future home is planned in honor of Emily Perdue.

“There’s a lot of people struggling like me and my husband. I just want them to know, there is help and there is hope,” Rhonda Combs told KSLA-TV, whose coverage you can view at this link.

She also told KTBS-3 News that she plans to start a community garden in Molly’s memory from which seniors who are struggling to buy food can simply come and pick what they need.

The new Fuller Center home for Sterling and Rhonda Combs — who both work at Overton Brooks VA Medical Center — is the 57th new home built by The Fuller Center for Housing of Northwest Louisiana. The 58th, also for a veteran, is under way in Shreveport, just across the river from Bossier City. Financial and volunteer support from The Simple Church and Asbury United Methodist Church, along with Fuller Center donors, helped make this project possible.

your gifts make these stories possible!

The Bossier Press-Tribune covered Tuesday’s entire dedication ceremony, which you can watch in this video:

Builds, unique fundraiser keep Fuller Center busy in Northwest Louisiana

Builds, unique fundraiser keep Fuller Center busy in Northwest Louisiana

The Fuller Center of Northwest Louisiana raised more than $95,000 this past weekend with a unique fundraiser that also helped shine a light on a nearly complete build in Bossier City, Louisiana, and on its upcoming groundbreaking for the next home for a veteran in Shreveport.

The fundraiser gave people an opportunity to rappel down one of downtown Shreveport’s towering landmarks — the Beck Building. Among the dozens of people who raised money for the opportunity to make the nerve-wracking 232-foot descent was 85-year-old Joane Sigler, who told KTLA-TV, “I’m a native Shreveporter, and I love this town, and I’ll do anything in the world to make it a better place for everybody to live.” For KTLA’s complete coverage of this unique event, click here.

Meanwhile, First United Methodist Church of Shreveport is involved in a unique mission trip this week. After years of sending teams to work in Costa Rica, they are hosting a group of Costa Ricans who have come to Shreveport to help build a Fuller Center home. Afterward, they will head to Baton Rouge to assist in flood recovery. For complete coverage of their mission trip, read all about it in the Shreveport News here.

Meanwhile, KTBS-TV caught up with Fuller Center of Northwest Louisiana Lee Jeter for an update on the “Molly Build” in Bossier City — The Fuller Center’s 57th new home overall in the Shreveport metro area and the third in Bossier City. You can view that complete report below:

Dad sees late daughter’s love for God live on through new Fuller Center home

Dad sees late daughter’s love for God live on through new Fuller Center home

(Bossier Press-Tribune photo) Bryan Reed (left) helps assemble pieces that will become the Molly Reed home. The house is being built in memory of his daughter, who was killed in a car accident more than a decade ago.

Molly Reed was just 15 when she died in an automobile accident with friends Katy Watkins and Emily Perdue in 2006. Now, her father is working with The Fuller Center and church partners to build a home for a Bossier City, Louisiana, family in her memory. It’s in the same area where two Fuller Center houses already have been in memory of Katy Watkins, while another is planned in honor of Emily Perdue.

“The exciting thing, as Molly’s dad, is to know how excited she would be that this is happening,” Bryan Reed tells the Bossier Press-Tribune. “Her desire was to make a difference. It’s amazing what the three girls have done beyond this life and the legacy they have created.”

Complete story here in
the Bossier Press-Tribune

Churches, Fuller Center team up to help veteran and wife build home in Bossier City, La.

Churches, Fuller Center team up to help veteran and wife build home in Bossier City, La.

(Photo: Rhonda and Sterling Combs)

The Fuller Center of Northwest Louisiana’s 57th new home build overall will be its third in Bossier City, Louisiana, thanks to three churches partnering to help veteran Sterling Combs and his wife Rhonda have a simple, decent place to live.

The Simple Church, Asbury United Methodist Church and Praise Temple are powering “The Molly Build” in memory of Melissa Rose Maggio, who was among three teens killed in a car wreck in 2006.

For video coverage of Wednesday’s wall-raising ceremony, click here.

KTBS-TV report here