Minister encourages communities to get ‘CRUNK FOR CHRIST’

Once a month Pastor Tanya Bryant takes her ministry out of the church and into the community.

Bryant organizes the monthly, "Crunk for Christ" rallies at assisted housing, like Elizabeth Canty and Booker T. Washington homes. She calls it "faith without walls."

"We're serving God and serving the community," she said of the rallies, which usually include music, dancing, food and ministry.

Bryant used to be addicted to crack cocaine and lived in Elizabeth Canty homes for two years, from 1996 to 1998.

"During that time I was searching for a better life. I was looking for love. I tried it in men, I tried it in drugs," she said. "God healed me."

Bryant said she woke up one day felt "healed," like a different person and started going to church. She's been clean for 14 years and said she wanted to go back to the community and to try and help others.

"I want to encourage people to want something better," Bryant said.

During the rallies, Bryant usually ministers to residents, teaches kids religious songs and offers food and activities for the community. She's held "Crunk for Christ" rallies at Elizabeth Canty and Booker T. Washington. Today, Bryant will be at Farley Homes talking with residents. She said she's gotten a good response to the rallies from the community.

"People have called me and given me testimony. They say they've been blessed with jobs," she said. "It's a wonderful positive thing for the community."

Marcia Biggers, a volunteer at the Crunk for Christ rallies and member of St. James Missionary Baptist Church, said the conversations she has with people at the rallies are usually short, but meaningful.

"Most of them even said they were going to start going back to church," she said. She said she enjoys talking to people, especially the kids.

"They'll say, 'She talked about God,' Some children don't hear it often," she said.

Biggers said volunteering with Crunk for Christ also makes her feel good.

"When you volunteer, you're giving back to God. I spoke with other people who volunteered and they had that same fire. They come and help for the same reasons," she said.

Bryant doesn't have a church for her ministry yet, but she says she's got more rallies planned at assisted housing later this year.

"You don't have to have a building to ask people to love God," she said.