Praying for Allendale: Former residents now 'part of the restoration'

Praying for Allendale

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The corner of Pierre Avenue and Garden Street- it's the heart of the Allendale neighborhood near downtown Shreveport.

"Everything I learned about life, I basically learned in this area," said Charles Brown, a former Allendale resident.

Brown grew up in Allendale back in the 1970s, as did Tommy Frazier.

"Down this way on Pierre, it was drug infested," said Frazier, pointing north down Pierre Ave.

"And down this way, big time users," Frazier added pointing west down Garden St.

Then and now, Allendale has seen better days. It's one of Shreveport's oldest neighborhoods packed with history, including an old fire station built back in 1912, still standing on that same corner.  But through the years, Allendale residents have seen enough police tape to stretch from Swepco Park all the way to Antoine Park and back.

"At one point in my life, I was headfirst into everything," Richard Wilson said.

Wilson still lives in Allendale.  Frazier and Brown have moved on.  All three admit they used to either be heavily involved in drugs or violence or homeless in the Allendale neighborhood.  But now they are hanging out at Pierre Ave. and Garden St. for a different reason altogether.

"But through it all, God brought us back to the neighborhood," Frazier said.

Every Saturday morning you'll find Frazier, Brown and Wilson - along with a dozen or so others - praying for Allendale.

"People are crying out," said McKinley Nunn, the leader of the prayer group. "And for some it's a silent cry.  They feel like no one is hearing it."

The group of men gather in the parking lot of the Fil-A-Sak convenience store to pray. Three months ago, a man was shot during an attempted robbery in that very parking lot.

"We're just men of God who have come back to the community to help make a difference," Nunn added.

Most of the men who gather on Saturdays have turned their lives around in one way or another.  And most have a new found relationship with God.

"To be able to come back, where I was once part of the problem and now I'm part of the restoration, I think it's a great move of God," Brown added.

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