June 2, 2017

The small congregation of Saviour Missionary Baptist Church in Waterloo serves others beyond their limitations. “We have an older congregation and we, as a church, cannot do a lot of things to minister and serve people. But we do what we can with the resources we have,” said Pastor Rudy Jones, who also serves on the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa Board of Directors.

Despite their aging population, the church has become a vital piece of helping their community thrive through a partnership with the Jesse Cosby Neighborhood Center. The Jesse Cosby Neighborhood Center celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, and thanks to Aretha White, a 97-year-old client of the Center and member of Saviour Missionary, they expect to be around for many more years. Throughout her lifetime, White and her family have become an inspiration for generosity and continually have encouraged the church to invest in their community.

In response, Saviour Missionary allocated $25,000 to establish the Jesse Cosby Neighborhood Center Endowment Fund with the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. The nonprofit agency fund is now a permanent source of income for the Center, and as the endowment grows, the Center will have additional funds to support general operations and programming. CFNEIA has also pledged to contribute $10,000 to the fund if the nonprofit can increase its fund to $90,000 by 2020. This is part of the Foundation’s nonprofit agency endowment incentive program.

Now the Center, a staple for clients in Waterloo, can feel secure as it continues to provide activities and much-needed health and lifestyle services to seniors and assists young families, adults, and youth in creating better lifestyles and accomplishing goals. “Providing temporary services only puts a band-aid on the situation. Our programs teach them life skills so they become self-sufficient,” said Jesse Henderson, Jesse Cosby Neighborhood Center executive director.

This focus on improving the lives of their mutual neighbors is exactly why the church chose to partner with the Jesse Cosby Neighborhood Center. “The function of the Cosby Center makes it an ideal place for us to invest, just as they invest in their clients,” said Rudy.