ENCM is a 501c3 non-profit, interdenominational organization, which is currently supported by several dozen faith communities and hundreds of individuals. This support enables us to serve as a “safety-net” and a “developer.” As a safety-net we help the elderly, poor, disabled, unemployed, and disadvantaged with emergency food assistance and emergency access to clothing. As a developer, we work to empower community well-being through food security. We educate on matters of food production and consumption and grow, glean, and reclaim fresh whole foods for allocation in impoverished communities.
By 1965 the Cooperative Church Council of Edgefield was busy making a difference in East Nashville by providing food and clothing to the poor as well as hosting Vesper Services at the newly constructed Edgefield Manor under Rev. Carson Fraser of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church’s leadership. The Cooperative Church Council of Edgefield was comprised of Edgefield Baptist, Fatherland Free Will Baptist, First Baptist of East Nashville, First Church of the Nazarene, Holy Name Catholic Church, Payne’s Chapel AME, Tulip Street Methodist Church, Woodcock Baptist, and Woodland Presbyterian Church.
The East Nashville Cooperative Ministry had begun with two Methodist churches in the early 1970’s and provided many services similar to those of the Cooperative Church Council of Edgefield (CCC). In a couple short years, East Nashville Cooperative Ministry (ENCM) was the collective effort of ten United Methodist churches. On January 15th, 1978 the CCC led by Rev. Fraser of St. Ann’s merged with the ENCM led by Rev. D. Wayne Davis. This merging coupled United Methodists with an already ecumenical group made up of Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Episcopalian. They agreed upon the fitting name East Nashville Cooperative Ministry.
Since its beginning, ENCM has had a history of ecumenical interfaith cooperation, believing that together, despite doctrinal dissimilarities, we are more productive in serving our neighbors than we are apart. For over forty years the churches of East Nashville have cooperated to provide food, clothing, medical, spiritual, and social services to a variety of persons varying in age, faith, and ethnicity. Drawing strength from the faith of its volunteers and supporters that believe God has called us to help our neighbors, ENCM continues to help churches, individuals, social organizations and businesses invest in people, not projects. ENCM’s slogan “neighbors helping neighbors” is a reality in the rapidly changing dynamic community called East Nashville.