Clint Twedt-Ball and Courtney Ball were recognized this summer for their ministry with the poor in Cedar Rapids. The Bishop James S. Thomas Award honors United Methodist leaders in Iowa who respond to the needs of poor and marginalized persons through education, social justice, and ecumenical ministries.
Beginning in 2006, the brothers have worked to strengthen their neighborhood on the northwest side of their city through an asset-based approach to community development. The Matthew 25 Ministry Hub was instrumental in responding to the flooding the city experienced in 2008. Because of the relationships they had been cultivating with their neighbors, they were able to respond by rebuilding homes “Block by Block” in the most devastated areas. More than $2 million was entrusted to the organization in support of their post-flood efforts.
Now their ministries have expanded to include an urban farm and youth empowerment activities in cooperation with local schools and other organizations. All of these effort help them envision “a thriving, connected community where people are valued and talents are multiplied; where neighborhood families have access to safe, affordable housing and healthy food; and where youth are empowered through reading and the creative arts.”
The Matthew 25 Hub received a $4,000 grant from the East Central District in 2015, which was made possible through the apportionment gifts of the United Methodist churches of Iowa.