Reverend Myron Goins said God tells us to ask, and we shall receive. So, he asked the city to help him restore Waxahachie Eastside, and he has received their cooperation.
Goins is the head reverend for Jim Street Christian Church in East Waxahachie. Although he only recently moved to Waxahachie a few weeks ago, Goins has been “embedded” within the city long before that, getting to know the community and its leaders over a period of six months.
“As a pastor, I have been trying to bring services to impact change within the East Side of Waxahachie,” Goins stated. “More so the city of Waxahachie, to try to be an assistance in those things that the church should be doing.”
A disabled veteran who served eight years in the United States Army, Goins has traveled thousand several miles preaching the Gospel, originally from Oklahoma City to Grandbury, Texas and, eventually to Waxahachie.
He stated that the Gospel was like a second language to him growing up.
“It takes a village to raise a child,” he remarked. “I was a part of that village while I was being raised.”
He noted that Jesus previously said that we need to go to the poor, to the hungry and to the unfortunate to serve them. He started looking for ways to do that when he came to Waxahachie several weeks ago.
“Anytime you go from city to city, you get transferred throughout the state, it makes you understand the city you live in,” he expressed. “In my canvassing the city, I wanted to see what were the needs and what was being neglected - north, south, east and west. How do I go about trying to be a solution to a city issue?”
One of the first things he noticed as a new resident was how code enforcement was laxer around the Eastside than it was in other parts of the city. He said that some parts were less appealing than other parts of the town did, and it showed.
He also remarked the lack of public transportation as a concern, saying that inhibits some opportunities residents could potentially aspire towards.
“People do not have the ability to go to the library and check out a book,” Goins expressed. “The workforce center is not in close proximity, once again, because of a lack of public transportation being provided.”
Goins resolved to address his concerns in a public forum at one of the Waxahachie City Council meetings on Monday, Feb. 4. Goins stated he didn’t know what to expect going into the meeting, but he knew he had to publicly address what he was seeing.
“I always go in with an open mind,” Goins stated. “God teaches us that I receive not because I ask not. By me asking, my prayer going in there was that they receive what was being said, and they receive it in a way to ask ‘What can we do to help?’”
Waxahachie council member Melissa Olson stated she sympathized with Goins’ concerns and commended him for coming out to speak about what he saw in his community.
“It is obvious he was very concerned about this issue,” Olson expressed. “He took the time to come down to the council meeting to talk with us in person. He is not alone in his concerns, and I thought it was important that he knew that. I wanted to make sure he knew that his concerns were heard.”
City leadership has since followed up with Goins the week after and spoke more personally about some of his concerns. He explained that city staff has been very cooperative and forthcoming in their dialogue and they’ve been very receptive to what he’s had to say.
“They’ve given very open arms onto me,” Goins expressed. “I recognize the problems, but I also gave them solutions – I gave them options for different solutions.”
Goins is attending the city council meeting on Monday, Feb. 18 to follow up with the council on the conversations he’s had with the city so far.
But he isn’t stopping there. Goins also spoke on the outreach efforts Jim Street Church holds with the community, such as regular clothing drives throughout the month and food pantries on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.
“By them seeing what we do, we bring hope to the hopeless, bring trust and confidence in the institution of the Church, but also for people to see God through the lives of people who are trying to help better the lives of those who are unfortunate - the disproportionate,” Goins expressed.
Olson stated that Goins’ efforts are a great example of how residents can get involved in their community. She said she hopes more people will follow Goins’ example.
“He seemed very willing to get involved, and I think that’s great,” Olson stated. “I encourage all residents to get involved when and wherever possible.”
Goins said his experiences with Waxahachie has been positive so far, and he looks forward to continuing to grow with the city and the community.
“We just need to continue to build unity among the people of Waxahachie,” Goins expressed. “That should be our goal - to unify everyone and make sure everyone is taken care of.”
To learn more about Jim Street Church, visit them at 108 Jim Street or call them at 214-980-1199.
* A previous version of this story misspelled Melissa Olson's name. The story has since been updated with corrected spelling.