A message from the Executive Director
West Dallas often has the reputation of being a lower-income area of town in which individuals can easily attain their community service hours.... or as of latest, we are known for trendy development efforts such as Trinity Groves. Quite the dichotomy! What the public doesn’t know unless they visit is that the community of Wesley-Rankin is beautiful, sacred ground. We’re not a community that can pretend when things are going wrong. We are honest, transparent and authentic. And when someone struggles, we are family. And family is not just an arm around the shoulders and a hug, but family is an invitation to live in an already crowded home or adding another seat at a dinner table that already has a meal stretched on a dollar. Why? Because family takes care of family. This is what West Dallas teaches me.
It’s an unexplainable, undeniable, unconditional love that I have yet to find anywhere else. Here’s the strange thing: I could hold up a blinking light advertising that I’ve found God’s kingdom on Earth, and I still wouldn’t have people believe me. But I can tell you, for those who have come in our doors and experienced the goodness of this beautiful community, they continue to return. And we, metaphorically, remove our shoes, acknowledge the space for the joy and life within, and give thanks that this sacred ground exists.
We believe in education and caring relationships. As a faith-based 501C3, we know community transformation takes place when we are able to open our hearts to the fact that we all have something to teach and learn. At this Center of Community, we welcome diversity, sharing and the common work for equity.
Wesley-Rankin Community Center’s origin dates to 1902, beginning as the Greater Dallas Board of City Missions, a settlement house for immigrant children and families in downtown Dallas. Then in 1935, Ray Hamilton, a member of the Bonnie and Clyde gang, was to be executed. Hattie Rankin Moore crossed the Trinity River to be present with Ray’s mother the night of his execution. This began Hattie Rankin Moore’s service through Eagle Ford Mission where she held education classes in the backyard. Hattie was one of the earliest advocates for West Dallas residents and today we continue Hattie’s legacy of advocacy.