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Transforming lives and community in Waco

By Ken Camp

Most people knew better than to venture into the blighted area around Waco’s North 15th Street in the late 1970s, but Jimmy and Janet Dorrell purposefully moved into the neighborhood with their young children.

“It’s what Christians do,” Dorrell said. “We invade the darkness.”

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Trolls and Truth

Jimmy Dorrell

Trolls & Truth calls the Western church to repentance for ignoring some of Jesus’ most challenging commands. It’s the story of a flourishing congregation that meets under a freeway overpass — the Church Under the Bridge in Waco, Texas — whose members include the mentally ill, homeless, and substance abusers, as well as former prison inmates,tattooed bikers, college students, and suburban housewives.

Dorrell challenges Christians to live more radically — more biblically — when church budgets don’t much reflect Jesus’ priorities and members would rather give money to help the poor than get to know and help them personally. Dorrell urges us to break down the walls we have built to shield ourselves from “the least of these” and build relationships with people in need.

Church Under the Bridge began in 1992 as a Bible study with five homeless men and has grown to a congregation of 300 diverse people of many races and economic backgrounds — still meeting under the same interstate bridge each week. Dorrell and his wife, Janet, founded Mission Waco in 1992, a Christian, holistic nonprofit to empower the poor.

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