The Micah Ministry
Part of the 50 year-old "Churches Uniting in Christ" movement, Micah is focused on ministry to impoverished adults and children and justice work and racial reconciliation across denominational/ religious lines.
On Thursday, October 18, 2001, after six, intensive months of congregational revisioning and under the leadership of Sr. Pastor, Rev. Lee Chiaramonte, the Micah Ministry began with six trained Saint Paul School of Theology seminarians, two hospital chaplains, one security guard and Independence Blvd. Christian Church members committed to outreach to the poor, an ethics-based and “mom-to-mom counseling program and clothing pantry -- by unanimous vote of the Church Board.
Six month later, and now on Monday evenings, the Micah Ministry added “Robert’s Café,” a free, table-based, restaurant-style supper ministry named for lifelong IBCC member, Robert Long, and a homeless guest also named Robert, who froze to death on KC streets in 2002. Suppers began in the Friendship Room with Ida Snyder as our 1st Executive Chef. Her assistant was Rose Alice Chandler, who became the 2nd Executive Chef the following year. That 1st Monday we fed 9 reluctant guests; the 2nd, 35, and by the 3rd Monday we fed 75 people a chili dinner. By May 2002, the Robert’s Café had moved into the church Fellowship Hall. Country Club Christian Church became our first partner-community, providing significant, recurrent volunteer and financial support.
In 2002, Independence Boulevard Christian Church gave Veronica’s Voice, a peer-based prostitution recovery program, a free office in the south wing and invited them to counsel at Micah; attorney Jolie Justus came on board to provide guests twice-monthly free legal advice; Micah counselors became chaplains to NewHouse Shelter for Battered Women. A G.E.D./life skills ministry was added, conducted by Rev. Laurie McKim, deacon of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. The clothing ministry expanded greatly. Free haircuts and manicures were provided twice that year by local hairdressers.
In 2004, graduate family counseling students from Friends University provided free psychotherapy to individual guests and families. Micah’s “Urban Work Camp” begins for US/Canadian youth to sleep over, learn and serve during 3 or 5 day summer stays at IBCC.
In 2005, 4 student interns from UMKC’s School of Pharmacology provided a year of legal drug counseling to guests. v By 2007, more than 40 seminarians had served field internships at the Micah Ministry. By year’s end, Darrell Cantrell became our 3rd Executive Chef. Rev. Sharon Cantrell becomes licensed and is 1st outside minister yoked to Micah.
By 2013, Micah is weekly serving more than 900 sit-down suppers on Mondays.
The Micah Ministry has become the largest urban mission of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, in the largest Christian Church Region of the US.
We strive to keep guests from standing on lines to receive ministries, as they often do with other services. We offer a radical welcome to all, including those suffering from substance abuse who are non-violent. We follow the non-violence ethics of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and offer a safe space made gracious by God’s abundant love and the warm welcome of thousands of generous volunteers.
Typically, we hand out about 1,500 items of children’s and adult clothing. Micah also includes an open-adoption referral program, AA, and pastoral counseling.
Nearly 46,000 plates of supper were served in 2015!
What YOU can do —
- Make a donation to Micah: 606 Gladstone Blvd., KCMO 64124
- Call Pastor Lee, Micah Director@ 816-231-0016 for a date to serve
- Be a dessert diva; make homemade cakes: Darrell Cantrell-913-909-2125
- Collect hygiene items – made into portable kits or call for clothing needs: Elke Flaharty, Ministry Assistant; 816-231-0016 or IbccKC@gmail.com
- Consider paying for ($600) or cooking a meal with our cooking team.