Agape Corner has been a beacon of light in East Durham since 1981operating a tuition-free boarding school, welcoming vulnerable youth and sharing the good news that God loved them and had a plan for their lives. Over the years, hundreds of students from East Durham and across the United States have enjoyed tuition, room and board free of charge through the hard work and tireless perseverance of staff, volunteers and financial supporters.
Today, Agape Corner helps young adult men from non-nuclear families find personal and professional direction and guidance by providing opportunities for them to live with and be coached by mentors. The core values upon which Agape Corner was founded continue to guide us today: unconditional love, deep connections with others and thankfulness for God's love and provision.
To transform our community in East Durham where every man will reach his full potential (socially, economically and spiritually) by knowing God and experiencing His love (Chesed).
To mentor young men from non-nuclear families by living in community, practicing servant leadership and modeling Biblical Fatherhood.
What We Do
Agape Corner provides an opportunity for single young men from non-nuclear families, particularly families with absent fathers, to live in structured, mentored and encouraging residential houses with single, professional, Christian men. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another states Psalm 27:17. In the same way, the men at Agape Corner learn from and encourage one another to live lives of servant leadership that maximize their God-given potential. Our desire is to see young men who have not had the best start in life, flourish and live out their own God-given potential.
Why Young Men?
Multigenerational poverty is intricately intertwined with the collapse of the nuclear family (particularly in the inner city) and it disproportionally affects African Americans. Almost 70 percent of black children are born to single mothers and grow up without fathers who have voluntarily abdicated their responsibilities for a committed relationship and for caring and mentoring their children. These families are far more likely than traditional nuclear families to be poor and to pass that poverty on to their children. The United States is now a two-family nation, separate and unequal; one generally educated, thriving and intact, and the other struggling, broken, and far too often African-American. We believe one of the best ways to help break this cycle is to show young adult men the inherent value of commitment in relationships and servant leadership.
How It Works
Agape Corner provides residential housing about one mile east of downtown Durham, N.C. Houses are open to single young men 21 years or older who are open to the idea that God has a plan for our lives and wants us to flourish. The role of the “Mentors” and “Mentees” who are together at Agape Corner, is to live life as though these statements are indeed true. This means that everyone either has, or is looking for a job, or is enrolled in an educational program that offers the promise of a job because jobs generate income necessary to live productive lives. Everyone pays rent to cover the cost of the house and everyone helps clean the house, because this leads to responsibility. When they’re not working or studying, the men typically want to spend time together. They often eat together, play together, pray together and live life together because this creates community. Mentors model servant leadership and biblical fatherhood to Mentees, who in turn go on to mentor other Mentees. The rules of the house are not extensive but are governed by the general commendation – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So alcohol is not allowed in the houses because we recognize that some men struggle with alcohol addiction and skipping the pleasure of a cold beer to avoid a brother from falling back into alcohol abuse is worth it. Similarly, women are also not allowed to spend the night in the house because we want to honor the purity and sanctity of marriage. Personal finance classes are available because knowing how to live within one’s means, to save and to be generous allows communities to thrive and prosper. Home economics and basic vocational classes are available because knowing how to run a house and help a neighbor in need builds communities. Men typically stay at Agape Corner for 1-3 years and the expectation is that every Mentee will become a Mentor and pour into the next generation of young men who are seeking to maximize their God-given potential.