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Wallace Temple A.M.E. Zion Church of Anderson, Indiana makes a GLOBAL IMPACT with their Shoe Drive Fundraiser


Wallace Temple A.M.E. Zion Church has been located on Forkner Street in Anderson, Indiana, for over 100 years. It was founded in 1921 by Reverend Henry H. Horton, and the first First Lady and Missionary President was Mrs. Cora D. Horton. Currently, the Reverend Antwaun J. Johnson is the Pastor, and Mrs. Tawana E. Johnson is the First Lady.   Mrs. Belinda R. Gibson serves as the WH&OMS Indianapolis District President, and The Reverend Dr. Anthony K.R. Gibson is the Presiding Elder of the Indianapolis District.

In December 2023, the Women of Wallace (W.O.W.) Temple A.M.E. Zion Church organized a Shoe Drive Fundraiser in partnership with Funds2Orgs to raise funds for local and world mission outreach.  W.O.W.  will earn funds based on the total weight of the gently worn, used, and new shoes, as Funds2Org will issue a check for the shoes collected. The proceeds will benefit the work of the A.M.E. Zion Church Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society. The donated shoes will be redistributed throughout the Funds2Orgs network of micro-enterprise (small business) partners. Funds2Orgs works with micro-entrepreneurs is helping them create, maintain, and grow small businesses in developing countries where economic opportunity and jobs are limited.

Celena Bostic Perry, who headed up the Shoe Drive Communications Team, said, “We launched our labor of love in early December 2023 with a goal of collecting a minimum of 100 bags of shoes long before March 2024.  At 25 pairs of shoes required per bag by Funds2Org, that is a total of 2500 pairs of shoes.” A special request was made for men’s shoes and boots as they are heavier in weight.  It was Perry’s Golf Club’s Shoe Drive, which raised funds last Fall to support the youth golf club program and scholarship fund, that led her, a resident of California, to share the Funds2Orgs information with her hometown church.

Pamela Willis Bell served as the Shoe Drive Chairperson.  Sis. Bell was praised for doing a “great job” and for “stepping up to chair the event when no one else would.”  Sis. Perry said, “Sis. Bell and her team of women and men were the boots on the ground working and doing the heavy lifting.”  Kudos to Sis. Bell’s husband, Brian Bell, for the use of his truck to pick up and transport the donated shoes to the church, and for John Bostic, Jr., who secured the help of Man4Man Ministries to help load the Funds2Orgs truck. They, along with DeCarlo Evans and Michael Johnson, were the Men of Wallace who helped collect, store, and organize the donated shoes.

Chairperson Bell and Sis. Shirley J. Weatherly (Shoe Drive Collections Coordinator) brought in the most bags of shoes from local businesses, organizations, and individuals, with 43 bags and 21 bags, respectively. Sis. Perry said, “It was RAINING SHOES!!! They were coming in by the trunk load and truckload.”  In fact, the W.O.W. Team cleared out a church office to use as a storeroom and enlisted the aid of the Men of Wallace to help carry over 100 bags of shoes into the storeroom. During the holiday season, the Team asked members, community residents, and local businesses to help Wallace “DECK THE HALLS with shoes,” and they did.

Truddie Evans, Logistics; Mae Gray, Public Relations; Sharon Hudson, Logistics, and Cheryl "Cissy" Wright, Support, were members of the W.O.W. Team also. All of Wallace’s Women's Home and Overseas Missionary Society participated; however, a special shoutout goes to missioners Diane Davis and Kimberly Harris for their Team support that went above and beyond.

In her final report and thank you letter to donors and supporters, Sis. Perry wrote, “We are absolutely elated to announce that with your loving support, we achieved our goal and more despite delays due to inclement weather. WOW!  We collected and processed 5000 plus SHOES! Double WOW! We could not have done it without you and God's favor We are grateful, thankful, and so blessed to have had an opportunity to work with such wonderful people, businesses, and organizations throughout the city, state, and beyond. What a blessing! You touched our hearts with your generosity, and TOGETHER, we will touch the hearts, souls, and soles of many with shoes to wear, share, and sell in developing countries around the world, e.g., Cambodia, Botswana, and Haiti. Additionally, we are contributing to the work of those dedicated to protecting the planet by recycling shoes and keeping discarded shoes out of landfills. God is so good, and we give Him all the glory and praise for the work He has done through all of us.” 

Sis. Mae Gray, PR, sent several press releases about the Shoe Drive to Editorial Asst. Tammy Talley at The Anderson Herald Bulletin, which published the dates, times, and shoe drop-off locations. Several local businesses, organizations, and churches, including Church Women United of Madison County and A.M.E. Zion Churches in the Indianapolis District, agreed to serve as contacts and collection points.  Sis. Gray told the Herald Bulletin, “We are so excited about our shoe drive and the community support.”

The W.O.W. Shoe Drive Fundraiser goal was to raise $1500 to $2000. All indications are that they have probably met and exceeded the goal, which includes monetary donations. Chairperson Pamela Bell said, “This was about more than raising funds. We did it for the win-win for so many people and entities that benefitted from this effort in so many ways.” Local Black-owned businesses: Cultured Urban Winery, The Arrangement Flowers, and MDS Pack, Ship & Print, all who agreed to serve as shoe drop-off locations from the start, told the W.O.W. Team they experienced an increase in business after people read press releases and dropped by to donate shoes.

According to Sis. Perry, “the W.O.W. Team considers the shoe drive as much more than raising funds to support the WH&OMS with its local work and to pay the assessment which goes to global work. We see it, as one A.M.E. Zion minister said, ‘as mission work in action.’” 



Rev. Henry H. Horton migrated north from Montgomery, AL, during the Great Migration in the early 1900s and settled in Anderson, IN.  Desiring to worship as he was accustomed to in Alabama, he started the A.M.E. Zion church in his home in 1921. A carpenter, he then built the first wood structure in 1925 on the same street where the third and current church building was built in 1985. The Church now owns most of the block. The tradition of A.M.E. Zion's service continues for many of Horton’s family and the family of charter members who are active members of the church today. Although everyone was invited to join the Shoe Drive Team, the labor of love ended up being a family affair for the most part. Most all W.O.W. Team members are related and connected as lifelong members of Wallace Temple with mothers who were WH&OMS missionaries.

Sis. Shirley J. Weatherly was born and reared at Wallace Temple, and at age 84, she is one of the oldest members.  Her father was a former pastor of the church and presiding elder of the district.  Her grandfather, Rev. Jesse Weatherly, was the first associate pastor at the time of the founding of the church.  Her mother was a former president of Wallace's WH&OMS. Bishop Paris Wallace, for whom the church is named, officiated the wedding of her parents, Rev. Isaac Weatherly, Sr. and Mrs. Gertie Weatherly. Their granddaughter, Deborah K. Weatherly, heads up Wallace’s Culinary Committee and provides a Sunday meal for the hard-working W.O.W. Team.

Also born and reared at Wallace are W.O.W. Team members Sharon Bostic Hudson, Celena Bostic Perry, and John Bostic, Jr. They are siblings, and the founding Pastor is their maternal great-uncle. The Bostic family has a history of serving God through the A.M.E. Zion Church since the 1800s.

W.O.W. Team members Mae Gray and Truddie Evans are sisters and lifelong members of Wallace Temple, whose mother, Barbara Wright, was a Missionary.  Their father, Theada Wright, Sr., devoted most of his life to serving Wallace Temple as a Trustee. A plumber by trade, he tirelessly gave his time, talent, and resources. DeCarlo Evans is following in his grandfather’s footsteps. Mr. Wright passed away in 2018 at age 94. His daughters and grandson were inspired to donate a pair of his work boots, which were the last pair to go into the 100th bag, and helped the W.O.W. Team reach its goal of 2500 pairs of shoes.

Sis. Bell and the entire W.O.W. Team’s efforts are to be commended.  Summing it up, she said, “With the blessings of the Pastor, a small group of women from a small church, in a short amount of time, with the help of a few good men, and a lot of support from the church and community, Wallace Temple A.M.E. Zion Church has made a global impact, and to God, we give the glory.”

Funds2Org creates powerful events that help churches, schools and other nonprofit organizations raise funds by collecting, distributing, and repurposing discarded articles such as shoes, clothing, purses, cell phones and other electronic goods.  Funds2Org distributes the discarded articles to countries around the world that need these items. Visit www.Funds2Orgs.com for more information.

Wallace Temple A.M.E. Zion Church, Anderson, Indiana, GLOBAL IMPACT, Shoe Drive Fundraiser, Funds2Org


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