Cindy Hood, her husband Brad, and daughter Anna are members of Central Baptist Bearden. In 2005, Cindy led her Sunday School class as they sponsored a Turkish family through Bridge Refugee Services. At that time God set in motion a ministry calling to Internationals in the Norwood community. Since then, she has been a volunteer with Knoxville Internationals Network and Bridge, the director of Summer English Camp in Norwood, a parent volunteer at Norwood Elementary and Northwest Middle School, and an Adult ELL teacher at CBB and Norwood Elementary. The Hoods relocated from West Knoxville to the Norwood community in April 2016 to expand their ministry potential.
Welcome House Knoxville is a direct result of a missions conference with CBF Field Personnel Marc and Kim Wyatt planned by TCBF Field Coordinator Rick Bennett and hosted by FBC Knoxville in February 2018. In June 2018, the Hoods visited Welcome House Raleigh and were convinced this was the next step for them. In October 2018, Cindy was named Director of Welcome House Knoxville which is an ecumenical ministry of Christian hospitality that was established as a nonprofit in 2019. It exists to form long-term relationships through short-term housing for refugees and immigrants.
WHK is the result of the prayers of many including members of FBC Knoxville! The practical needs to begin this ministry have been met through the nudging of the Holy Spirit in countless ways including: the selection of the Board of Directors, the pilothouse location, the ideal first house host, a large dining room table, a Tracfone with 600 minutes, an awesome custom bunk bed, a Queen mattress, a vacuum, beautiful landscaping and patio furniture. Many of these answers came to us even before the need was expressed publically! We are thrilled to have our first guests and know they are among the most vulnerable. WHK is changing the trajectory of these lives! Volunteers are needed to come alongside these new neighbors and be the presence of Jesus.
*Blog photo taken from Welcome House Knoxville's Facebook page.