Bill J. Reid oral history interview 2, 2012 December 10
In this interview, Bill J. Reid, Executive Director of Jackson Park Ministries in Charlotte, North Carolina, shares about the history and operations of the organization. He discusses the ministry’s campus, explaining its origin as a World War II military facility and the repurposing of its barracks into affordable housing and its chapel into Jackson Park Baptist Church. He describes neighborhood changes that occurred including increased crime, drug activity, and abuse, and discusses how the church responded to these changes led by his influence. He gives an overview of the ministry’s inception from within the church in 1985 through feeding children, its growth to provide fifteen programs including “transformational housing” with a goal of assisting families in freeing themselves from government dependency, and its establishment as a separate non-profit organization. Mr. Reid goes on to discuss specifics of the housing program, explain how families join, share success stories, identify factors influencing the completion rate, and summarize what sets Jackson Park Ministries apart from “transitional housing” programs. Other topics include Kelvin Smith's role as first staff member of Jackson Park Ministries and pastor of Jackson Park Baptist Church (later Steele Creek Church at Charlotte), local church and community support, pastoral ministry to families in the program, contributions of program graduates who return to help serve currently-enrolled families, and budgetary concerns including fundraising and the 2008 economic recession’s effect on the ministry.
Bill J. Reid was an 81-year-old man at the time of interview, which took place at Jackson Park Ministries in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was born in Charlotte in 1931. He was educated at Dilworth Elementary School, Alexander Graham Junior High School, Central High School, and Charlotte College in Charlotte and at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, and was employed as a colonel in the United States Air Force, as the Vice President of Human Resources for Rexham Corporation, and as the Executive Director of Jackson Park Ministries in Charlotte.