Blaine Southeast Neighborhood Betters Community Through A Commitment For Change
“Our playground shows that things can change,” says Clifford Clemons of the Blaine Southeast Neighborhood Association. Clemons, a Pastor of New Testament Christian Ministries, came to MAP several years ago after the ministry’s Vice-President William Johnson discovered an old track in an abandoned field behind the Serenity Club on South Brotherton Avenue. The New Testament Christian Ministries initially hoped to use this land for outreach and community activities.
Clemons searched through county records and discovered that the vacant land previously belonged to the Neighborhood Association, which was dissolved in 2002. In order to claim the land for the ministry, Clemons worked with the former officers to get the Association reinstated. Muncie Community Schools donated additional parcels of adjacent land to the newly formed Neighborhood Association, as this location was the former site of the Blaine Elementary School athletic field. Together as one deed of land, the Neighborhood Association donated the land to New Testament Christian Ministries.
Working in conjunction with Johnson’s vision of reaching the community, Clemons decided to make the new Neighborhood Association more than just a name on paper and went to MAP to bring Blaine Southeast Neighborhood Association back as a living organization. Members from MAP even went door to door with Clemons asking neighbors to join.
In 2015, people from all over the community came together to install a playground at the field with the financial help of KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit that promotes active play for children, and other private donors. The ministry donated the parcel of land back to the Blaine Southeast Neighborhood Association, a nonprofit, in 2017, and the track was restored with help from The City of Muncie.
“Our drive is to change lives,” said Clemons, who shares the ministry’s emphasis on the kids. To Clemons, the Neighborhood Association has been a vehicle to accomplish change. Each year, New Testament Christian Ministries holds a Youth Revival and leads a community-wide drive for emergency school supplies which includes rulers, scissors, paper, notebooks, markers, and backpacks for children in the neighborhood and in the larger community. Other Muncie ministries and organizations, like Tabernacle of Praise, The Serenity Club, the Muncie Fire Department, and the Muncie Police Department, partner for this special day of community outreach.
This summer, the Blaine Southeast Neighborhood Association was awarded a $500 Scholarship by MAP to remove plant overgrowth along the field’s perimeter that presents a safety hazard.
The Blaine Southeast Neighborhood Board is looking for volunteers to do yard work and pass out flyers promoting the Neighborhood Association as well as seeking contractors who would be willing to donate their time to help develop this neighborhood play area. Contact mapcoordinator@muncieactionplan for more information on how to get involved!
“Through MAP, we’ve developed a lot of lasting relationships,” says Clemons. MAP is a resource for people who want to bring change in Muncie. You can follow Blaine Southeast’s updates through the Blaine/Southeast Facebook Group as they live out their motto, “The Unity of the Community Gets the Job Done!”