Bringing hope to the lost and broken has been the focus of Barnabas Vision for the last ten years. Founded by David Coggin, who also serves as the Executive Director, he started the organization to fill holes he saw in the community to help those who were unable to cope with what life was throwing at them. On August 7, the organization celebrated its 10 year anniversary.
What is Barnabas Vision?
“We try to help [those struggling] in our community as much as we can,” said Coggin, “both emotionally and financially. We mostly help with utilities and rent, host classes, and do community events.”
Coggin chose the name from the Bible because Barnabas is known as the “son of encouragement.” He gave people second and third chances. He believed in people when no one else did. He saw their future potential and tried not to focus on their past mistakes.
Barnabas Vision works both independently and with churches and other Christian-based organizations, such as North Boulevard Church of Christ, The Journey Home, Greenhouse Ministries, and The Haven.
The organization accomplishes its mission through programs that offer mentoring and skills, both work-related and emotional coping skills. Helping people find access to healthcare and legal services is also part of their mission.
Celebrating 10 Years of Help to Others
For their 10 year anniversary, they celebrated their successes at The Grove with a free event offering music provided by Johnny and Heidi, food from The Alley on Main, ice cream from the new Black Box Ice Cream truck, and a silent auction.
Looking to the Future
“We want to continue to be a light and support system to the community of Rutherford County,” added Coggin. “We want to respond to the needs of the people we serve by offering both short and long-term services.”
They work with city and county schools, and Middle Tennessee Christian School, as well as Middle Tennessee State University to ensure students have what they need to succeed, and their families as well. And they have the strong support of organizations like the Legal Aid Society and Child Advocacy Center.
“In 2011, [Barnabas Vision] started with me and several wonderful volunteers serving the community in various ways — nursing home visits, teaching classes, running a self-esteem camp that my wife organized, and helping people … financially to stay in their … homes. One program that has grown [the most], and is our largest budget expenditure, is our preventing homeless piece.”
He tells the story of a young woman who came to him who was ready to kill herself because she was going to be evicted. He told her he would help if she could hold on one more day. That gave her hope, and sometimes, Coggin says, hope is all we need.