Mission Texarkana Inc. was founded under the leadership of Rev. Jim Adams in the basement of the Beech Street Baptist Church in 1968. The Women’s Missionary Union recognized the need for hunger relief among the food insecure of the local Texarkana community. They began providing soup and clothes to those who were in need.
As the ministry grew, they relocated to a vacant dwelling on East Eighth Street in Texarkana, Arkansas. The work attracted the attention of two Southern Baptist Associations: The Bowie Baptist Association (BBA) and the Southwest Arkansas Baptist Association (SWABA). At a joint meeting of the associations in 1998, BBA and SWABA agreed to sponsor the ministry under the name of The Texarkana Friendship Center.
About the Center
The Texarkana Friendship Center relocated to donated property at 620 W 4th street, Texarkana Texas in 1987. By 1997, the Texarkana Friendship Center outreach our grown, and the Board of Directors decided to incorporate the center. The center continued to provide meals and clothing and began to focus on job training programs. Partnering with United Way in 2001 the CNA training program began. The Texarkana Friendship Center underwent a rebranding in 2018 to better reflect the history and mission of the work done over the last fifty years. The rebranding included a name change to Mission Texarkana Inc. and an added emphasis to community development.
Church Under the Bridge
Church Under the Bridge Texarkana first began Easter of 2012, and with the five year anniversary coming up this Easter, the congregation continues to grow. With the services being held on Saturday mornings, it has opened an opportunity for many local churches to lend support to the ministry and contribute to the growth and works of the church and the many volunteers led by Howard.
Cody and his wife Jill have 2 daughters, Madelynn and Brooklyn, and they have one son, Hollen. The Howard family has fallen in love with the homeless community and the members of our city that are in the most need.
We do all we can to provide them with the basic necessities of life, but most of all we strive to make them part of our family. God has called us to open our family to the poor, the broken, and nobodies of our community, and it has been all to our joy.”
Cody is the founder and pastor of “Church Under the Bridge”. Howard has recently been named the executive director of Texarkana Friendship Center, Inc.
Cody Howard is a perfect example of a man spreading God’s love and word through his actions by helping the less fortunate among us. As the founder and pastor of Church Under the Bridge Texarkana he has created a central place for what he has called “the most beautiful, loving, broken messy local congregations of believers on Earth”.
Cody Howard has recently been named the executive director of Texarkana Friendship Center, Inc. and is hitting the ground running with hopes to better educate citizens of the community as to what the Texarkana Friendship Center is and does, from offering free education programs to grants from the city and Randy Sams Shelter, to assisting the homeless with placement in housing.
The Texarkana Friendship Center is a faith-based, gospel-centric organization that cares for wholistic (physical, spiritual, emotional, and financial needs) of our community. We feed breakfast and lunch to approximately 300 homeless/impoverished 5 days a week. We take great interest in the personal lives of those who come to us, and have become a place where the rejected come to be accepted. We offer free CNA training programs to help the poor get on their feet. We administer several grants in cooperation with the city of Texarkana and Randy Sams to place the homeless in housing. We offer discipleship classes and have formed a ‘street choir’ that will be available to minister in our community in the near future. We have a thrift store in the College Hill area(714 East St, Texarkana, AR 71854) where items can be donated to support our work. We have a great need for financial and food contributions.
Cody sits on the board of the Texas Christian Community Development Network and has also been serving as the family and missions pastor at First Baptist Church, in Atlanta, Texas, for the past two years. While there, he established and directed Mission Atlanta, a local food cooperative and community center.
Cody has a passion for the holistic restoration of people and their communities. He has spent many years on the streets of Texarkana, sharing the gospel and material goods with the homeless and broken in our community so he was a natural fit for the position with Texarkana Friendship Center.
Individuals, churches and community groups are encouraged to get involved downtown, and Cody can show you how. He would love to schedule a time to come speak to your congregation or group about that. Reach him by email or call 430-342-4797.