The Harbor gives back to the Wiregrass

The Harbor stands tall in Dothan, not just the building, but the message emulating from inside.
Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 4:35 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - The Harbor is a ministry that stands tall in Dothan. Not just the building itself, but also the message emulating from inside.

This ministry is working to transform the heart of Dothan through the love and power of Jesus by delivering biblical messages at both basic and advanced bible studies.

However, it is more than a church. The folks here live by the words “It is better to give than receive.”

“What is your heart saying? We want to find a place for you to serve,” Kody Kirchhoff, the executive director, said.

This simple building along historic Foster Street is a beacon of hope.

“Our vision is to be a place that through Jesus we can unite the community,” Kirchhoff said.

The Harbor nudges in the right and promising direction for those struggling with life’s complicated twists and turns.

“The city will be its best when our people are at its best,” Kirchhoff said.

This ministry reaches thousands and thousands of people a month. It acts as a lighthouse for refuge for the people who are lost, broken, and in need by serving those who are living on the margins.

“We do have a large percentage of poverty in our city,” Kirchhoff said. “So, we are here to help any immediate needs, to help people continue to get through day by day and we are here to help people triumph through that and see life differently.”

For Kirchhoff, The Harbor is more than his job. It’s his passion.

The schedule stays busy. Their week of service starts when most people end their week.

“Saturday mornings is what we call our Community Day,” Kirchhoff said.

From 8-9 a.m. the needy picks up clothing, personal hygiene items, groceries, and a piping hot breakfast.

“We’re here with arms wide open to say, ‘Let’s walk this together,’” Kirchhoff said.

“When someone is hungry, we get to give them food,” Kirchhoff said. “When someone is down and out and struggling, we get to give them hope.”

No questions are asked and there are no expectations. Those in need are greeted with tangible items and a hand reaching out with love.

“Every single person in life has been in need at some point or another,” Kirchhoff said. “So, we’re a safe place, a nonjudgmental zone.”

Saturday and Wednesday services share God’s promising message

“In the last six years we’ve been able to see over 600 baptisms and 3,000 decisions for Jesus,” Kirchhoff said.

These messages are given with meals. Being a fill-up for both the spirit and the stomach.

“To find a way to be the hands of Christ and to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to visit the sick and the prisoner and so that’s just been the nudge of God in my life,” Sean Peters, a pastor and executive director at The Harbor, said.

Peters is among the human vessels that dock at The Harbor. He says it is a place that shares his passion for putting others above himself.

“It’s a place for people to come where they know they are going to be accepted and welcome and they are going to be able to grow in their faith,” Peters said.

The Harbor relies on those who share the vision of the mission of its donation-only ministry.

“We don’t do government grants; we are just a ministry that is blessed because of the great city of Dothan and the surrounding area,” Kirchhoff said.

Kirchhoff said this is how they exist. Whether you are 3 years old, or 300, he said there is a place for you to join their trek in giving back to the Wiregrass.

“We really do need as many people as we possibly can,” Peters said. “If you have a heart for this kind of thing let us know because we would love to find a place for you here at The Harbor.”

The group does not work alone.

“Our heart is to not ever be a standalone church,” Kirchhoff said. “Our heart is to partner and be an extension of ministry for every church in Dothan. That we’re just a part of the family and so we all serve together.”

Click here to view more information on The Harbor.

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