The King’s Jubilee has been serving homeless people and those moving off the street and intervening to prevent homelessness for some of those at risk since February of 1989 in Philadelphia. We have also started other programs to help the poor and help support families with tight budgets in eight other towns in PA and South Carolina. Some of these faded away due to lack of volunteer support or need. Some continue to this day and have grown under local leadership. The plan was never to build a huge organization anyway. We prefer to be catalysts to get people involved doing the work; get it stable, then move on to start a new project.
Cranford Coulter founded and directed this organization for over 27-1/2 years with no salary, most of the time while maintaining a full-time job or running a full-time business. In 2010, he started to have very strange and severe health complications, starting with a virulent staph infection on the back of the neck. The next four years, he spent going in and out of hospitals, experiencing kidney failure due to an allergic reaction to an antibiotic; exquisite back pain in an unrelated part of the back to what was damaged by the infection. A summer totally wasted on migraines with aura that caused three strokes and four hospital stays was followed by six months with three more strokes and dozens of TIAs.
Somewhere in there was the battle with the city. Cranford cried that whole summer, including during his testimony in court.
Why so much about Cranford? It is because any real help to heal the soul and give a person hope comes from personal relationship. Jesus taught that “the kingdom of God is among you.” The you was plural, so the word meant among, not within. It is found in relationship. “God Love Is.” Jesus was not teaching to hope for a foretaste of some great time in the future with your grandpa in the sky. He was saying, love even your enemies; love the unlovely. When it comes down to it, you are just like them. You just fell out on a different place and time on this blue and green ball than they did. Don’t fear that. Be curious about it. Celebrate it. Share as brothers and sisters.
In Isaiah 61, the ministry of Christ and his discipes is described as a continual Jubilee: “to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” The early church was quick to get about the business of the Jubilee. The Epistle of St. James promotes economic equality and balance saying “Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low; because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.” (1:9-10) The Apostle Paul spent one of his journeys collecting to provide for those suffering from a famine “that there may be equality.” 2 Corinthians 8.
So the “Jubilee” in our name stems from the desire to fulfill Jesus’ ministry of facilitating abundance to flow to those in our society in desperate need of a second chance. It is “The King’s” because it doesn’t belong to any of us. We could say it belongs to all of us equally, but that has it’s drawbacks. We could say, for legal purposes (which under Mosaic law, it de facto did) belongs to the state. It is more powerful to create a legal fiction of a god-concept, even for atheists, just for the poetic concept and to raise love and personhood above all property that it is out of all of our hands.
A New Start
So, due to health reasons, Cranford had to step down. He was in the process of doing that, and recruiting replacements, when the excrement hit the air conditioning once again. He was personally attacked and slandered again by wealthy people in the church and fearful, sociopathic priests. TKJ stepped aside from serving to make room for a new group, comprised entirely of TKJ alumni to take over on the street. Cranford secretly advised and gave supplies and provided transportation and hard boiled eggs to the new organization. They found that they could not handle the work, but did not want us to be visibly involved, due to wanting to be an Orthodox Christian organization.
So now we are making a clean start. We have a tall order before us, to rebuild an entire volunteer organization and base of support under us. We intend to come back stronger and more stable than ever before. To start, the new director is someone who is Philly born and raised (with an exception of two years of school in NC) and spent several years on and off living on the streets of Philadelphia. He is an extremely hard worker. He cooks at Tindley Temple UMC’s Soup Kitchen and has been a faithful volunteer with The King’s Jubilee for several years. Last summer he sort of moved in with the Coulter’s halftime to do work around the yard and house, to look after Cranford to make sure he didn’t overdo and ruin the therapy progress on his back. If he can take charge of Cranford, he knows how to take charge.
Anthony (Tony) McNeal is the new Director of The King’s Jubilee. He will be making the soup and recruiting and organizing volunteers. Our team will probably look a good bit different than it has in the past as a result.
The artwork on this page was created by Cranford and is for sale in very limited edition, museum quality prints on canvas, custom framed by Cranford to benefit The King’s Jubilee. Many more will be found throughout the Blog with links on the Merchandise page.
Our original logo was designed by Wallace W. Wolff, a founding partner of DWKCB Architects, and a good friend. It is people of different races holding hands in the air lifting a shout. They form a crown. The ideas that we hope to convey with this logo are: “The Lord inhabits the praise of his saints.” “The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof.” The idea is that everyone we meet has something unique to contribute to the world, and that everyone is of equal value, and all the world belongs to all equally. We serve in joy and celebration of that, equals among equals, becoming family. Tony and Cranford updated the logo to make it simpler to stencil, September, 2015.
We can only do what we do, because there are many others who share resources with us. Donations are gladly and gratefully received. In addition to checks and cash, personal size shampoos, soaps & lotions are always welcome, as well as men’s clothing in season.
Checks can be mailed to:
The King’s Jubilee
27 N. Front St.
Souderton, PA 18964-1148
Thank you. May you be blessed.