Houses for Healing Preparing Opening of Kinney Family Chapel

How to Help
Houses for Healing is renovating a donated house into the Kinney Family Chapel for use as a classroom, dining room, and office. To learn more or to donate, go to https://www.housesforhealing.com/ or call or email Brian Massey at 325-660-7719 or brian@housesforhealing.com

Click on link to see a video update on the Kinney Family Chapel project https://youtu.be/MR2LIsz-NQk

By LORETTA FULTON

“Our Journey of Hope” is the name of a curriculum that is being added to the Houses for Healing ministry, but in reality, the entire ministry has been a “Journey of Hope.”

From groundbreaking on Sept. 15, 2016, to the current renovation of a house on north Hickory Street to serve as the Kinney Family Chapel, Houses for Healing has truly been a journey of hope, backed by faith. Brian Massey, founder and president of the ministry, knew from the beginning that the journey would require more than his dream. It would take faith in people to respond to his idea and make it a reality. 

“Thank you, Jesus” is on a sign in front of the house being renovated. And, those words often are spoken by Massey whenever a new group of people responds. 

The Kinney Family Chapel is almost ready use as an office, chapel, classroom, dining room, and kitchen by Houses for Healing. Founder and president Brian Massey is shown in the left photo. Dick and Marie Kinney, who are deceased, are shown in a family photo at right.

Houses for Healing is an addition on north Hickory Street of 392-square-foot tiny houses that provide free lodging for families of people from area communities who are undergoing long term medical treatment in Abilene. Each house is named for an area community and serves residents of that city and surrounding smaller towns. One house is for veterans. Individual congregations of all denominations sponsor the houses, providing food, transportation, and support to the families served. 

Originally, Massey envisioned 20 tiny houses, each sponsored by a church, and that still is the plan. Currently, four tiny houses have been completed and almost always are occupied. Massey didn’t know where the land would come from–or the money to pay for it–to construct the remaining 16 houses.

But then, an elderly couple who lived in a house across the street from the tiny house project, Dick and Marie Kinney, gave their house to Houses for Healing. 

“They both seemed to be very excited about it,” Massey said.

Both of the Kinneys now are deceased but will be remembered with the Kinney Family memorial wall in the front room. A section of original shiplap serves as a display area for family photos.

The house was built in 1926 with the distinctive peanut brittle exterior. The house is almost ready to serve its new purpose as a chapel, office, classroom, and dining room for the Houses for Healing ministry.

“I have an office!” Massey exclaimed during a tour of the Kinney Family Chapel. 

The house underwent a complete renovation, with volunteers turning out to do the demolition and clearing of the lot to make room for 16 additional tiny houses. The main house now has a worship and classroom space at the front, kitchen, large pantry, dining room for family gatherings, and Massey’s office. A building will be constructed behind the house to serve as a workshop and central storage area.

“Our Journey of Hope” is the name of the curriculum that will be used in counseling cancer victims and their families. Massey and his board vice president, James Boone and his wife, Teri, all have trained to lead the curriculum. 

When the house and lot became available, Houses for Healing had $208.56 in its bank account, Massey said. That was well short of the $65,000, but Massey is used to the road of faith and hope. Within three weeks, more than $66,000 was given by local foundations and a donor for the project. 

“This journey has been a journey of faith,” Massey said, “but it also has been a journey of miracles.”

Since Sept. 15, 2016, when ground was broken for the first tiny house, Massey has been calling on old and new friends and local and area churches to see his dream come true. Every time the bank account gets close to zero, a foundation, a church, a group, or an individual steps up to help. Eventually, the additional 16 houses will be built and sponsored by churches. Massey has no doubt about that. And, he already has his response lined up.

“All I can say is, ‘Thank you, Jesus’”

Loretta Fulton is creator and editor of Spirit of Abilene

2 comments

  • This is a heart-warming piece that much is right with the world!

    Like

  • I am thrilled to learn that many of those historic houses on HIckory will be put to a worthwhile use. I am also grateful for the many creative and dedicated people we have in Abilene who look for these projects. Thank you!

    Like

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