In 2003 the first African American was elected to serve as president of the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce. Ministers called the newly elected president to express their concerns about the direction the Chamber would take to improve the economic condition of the community.
A meeting was set up between the Chamber’s Vice President of Economic Development, the Executive Director, and the Ministers to address specific areas of concern and prioritize action steps. It was determined that the biggest problem facing our neighborhood was drugs/ crime followed by rundown vacant housing.
At that time it was noted that there were only nine churches and synagogues listed on the Chamber membership directory, none representing the African-American faith based organizations.
Fourteen ministers representing congregations from Pineville, Alexandria and Boyce attended a dinner and expressed their views on how the Chamber could be more relevant to the faith-based community. Collectively, this group represented congregations totaling over 4000 members including employers who pay payroll taxes; persons involved in creating recreational and sports activities, after-school programs, day care services for the youth; real estate investors and so on.
Considering the history of their individual successes and the impact of their revenues turning over in our community, it was decided that they would be called MINISTERS OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (MOED).
It was unanimously agreed that the escalating violence facing our community could not be resolved single-handedly by the police. It was imperative that our entire community lend a hand. The faith based organizations were an obvious choice for this assistance, working unified in the community to restore core family values. Additional law enforcement representatives, other community leaders, and educators joined us.
Providing our children with a safe and protective environment and teaching them the values of respect, education, responsibility and hard work became their primary objective.
Today MOED has evolved from a committee under the umbrella of the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce to an independent organization fully incorporated with expanded goals, objectives, increased diversity, a history of success projects and new
- Motto: “Providing the Foundation of Spiritual Leadership and Guidance for Positive and Sustained Economic Change”
Ministers of Economic Development of Central Louisiana (MOED) is committed to building the foundation for a stronger, economically empowered community through a faith-based strategic focus on education, entrepreneurship, job creation, workforce development, and housing.
MOED envisions a community in which every individual has an opportunity to realize his or her full, God-given economic and educational potential. We believe that every child has the right to a high-quality education. We believe that every adult should have access to continuing education, fair and affordable housing, job opportunities, and entrepreneurship resources.
We envision a community in which
• Youth have the opportunity to reach their full potential, striving for high student academic achievement, valuing lifelong learning, and moving toward productive citizenship.
• More adults are financially stable due to increased economic, financial, and educational opportunities.
• Businesses are created and developed, resulting in job creation and expansion.
• More youth and adults are gainfully employed with good paying jobs with benefits.
• Recidivism is reduced due to increased economic opportunities for the formerly incarcerated.
• Crime is reduced significantly because of faith-based outreach to at-risk individuals and neighborhoods.
We believe that this vision can be achieved and can be replicated throughout the State of Louisiana and the nation.