Lenten Luncheon with Rev. Ken B. Austin

Wednesday March 13, 2024 11:30am - 12:30pm

Entrée: Herb-Crusted Tilapia | Pastor Ken Austin and his new bride Thomasina were assigned to Maxwell Air Force Base in October 1983. Since Ken’s Air Force assignment required community service, he chose the Montgomery Juvenile Family Court where he mentored and served children in the Family Court System. Thomasina went back to College, earned her Master’s Degree and started teaching at Alabama State University. She has taught there for more than 30 years. Her devoted handprint on education has rocked the world for many students. She finds great joy in the accomplishments of her many former students. Ken served our country honorably in the United States Air Force until 1993. A few years later, in 2004, the Austins’ concern for the poor in west Montgomery compelled them to plant the New Walk of Life Church and begin an outreach ministry to the poor called MAP – Ministry About People. The New Walk of Life Church began to grow and soon purchased a vacant house and turned it into the Mercy House. In 2018 New Walk of Life Church Incorporated the Mercy House as a 501(3)c to better serve the community. In 2023 served over 182,000 hot meals to people in need and about 160,000 pounds of food to about 4000 families victim of food insecurity. The Mercy House provides not only food but also clothes, hot showers for the needy, and a place where people can wash and dry their clothes. Today the Mercy House / MAP Outreach includes the Mercy House, the MAP Center, the Pathway House, the Family Participation Program, the MAP Youth Navigation Center, After Hours Teens Mentoring Program and soon the Manna House a food distribution facility and the Haven, a 182 bed shelter, a Family Resource Center and Montgomery City and County Consolidated Homeless Service Center. The MAP Youth Navigation Program has about 200 children daily in our After School Tutoring and Homework Help Program. The MAP Center partner with Trenholm College to provide Adult Education and Workforce Development. We now have on staff a Care Coordinator who works 40 hours weekly serving those in need. Ken and his team want to do more than “feed the hungry.” They believe that the best way to “love” the poor and marginalized is to help them redirect their lives, escape poverty and become responsible, productive citizens. Ken serves as the church’s Senior Pastor and Executive Director of Mercy House / MAP. He is deeply committed to the restoration of his impoverished community, Ken serves on the board of Valiant Cross Academy, CareStar Mental Health, Samaritan Counseling, Cadence Bank, House to House, Montgomery Area Homeless Coalition, King’s Canvas, Alabama Heart Food Bank, and Montgomery Bible Institute. Pastor Ken Austin serves as an Elder with a group of Senior Pastors in Montgomery who stand at the gate of the city and have spiritually led and served the River Region for a combined total of 181 years. He is a member of the Montgomery Police Department’s Good Shepherd Program. For years Austin has come home with more tear-stained shirts from mothers and bloody shoes from murdered children than he cares to count. He often says he has raised more money to bury children than he has raised to feed and educate children. After someone shot through a bedroom window and killed an innocent child sleeping in his bed, Austin organized a Prayer Walk of people throughout Montgomery. The prayer walk ended at the child’s bedroom window where his life had been tragically taken. Since then people have continued walking and praying in Montgomery every first Saturday. Austin serves on the O.U.R. Montgomery Steering Committee that organizes these Walks. Prayer Walks are uniting Montgomery against violence and senseless crimes. Austin serves on Mayor Reed’s Homeless Task Force, working tirelessly with the team to eradicate homelessness. Ken is an Alumnus of Leadership Montgomery Class XXXV. He was voted by his class to be the Commencement Speaker for graduation. Despite Ken’s busy schedule, because of commitment to education, for years he has used his Commercial Driver’s License to transport a bus full of children to and from schools. Whatever moves people and the community forward, Pastor Austin is committed to helping to make it work. Pastor Austin has been married 40 years to Thomasina, his sweetheart for 45 years. The two of them have three biological children, three children they have loved into their family and hundreds of children that they have poured into over their 45 years. Pastor Austin has received numerous awards, including the Montgomery Advertiser Hero of the Month, Alpha Phi Alpha Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award, and the Leadership Montgomery Unity Award. He was recognized by Alabama Power at their Power of Leadership Event for his leadership in West Montgomery. He was named the 2021 citizen of the year by both Delta Sigma Theta and Kappa Alpha PSI. Pastor Ken Austin was awarded by the 2023 River Region Ethics in Business and Public Service the Maury D. Smith Excellence in Professional Ethics Award. Pastor Austin is committed to serving the least among us, especially disadvantaged youth. He personally knows their pain and struggle. When his mother died from a heart attack when he was13 years old, he had to live through the pain of having lost his mother. He believes his greatest contribution to youth is his presence. He works tirelessly devoting quality time and bringing quality people into the lives of the youth.


Stegall Fellowship Hall
2416 West Cloverdale Park
Montgomery, Alabama 36106


First United Methodist Church

2416 West Cloverdale Park, Montgomery, Alabama 36106 Map