Duane Crabbs
Co-founder, South Street Ministries
Thursday, Feb. 13
7:30 p.m.
Zook Hall 110

Topic: The Front Porch: A Third Place in Akron

Duane Crabbs, a former Cuyahoga Falls and Akron firefighter-paramedic, founder of the ministry of Love In the Name of Christ, and his wife Lisa moved their family of six into the high-crime, impoverished neighborhood of Summit Lake and formed South Street Ministries in 1997.

Over the last fifteen years, South Street Ministries has grown out of the home of the Crabbs family. In that time, almost a thousand youth have earned donated and broken bicycles that they helped to fix and repair. Several hundred inner city Elementary School kids have been regularly fed, loved and tutored. The “Summit Lake Neighborhood Association” was founded by Crabbs to be a positive force in the community in partnership with the Summit County prosecutor’s office. Thousands of bible studies and pastoral visits have occurred in the Summit County Jail, the Community Based Correction Facility, the Gatehouse, Act One, the Haven of Rest and other treatment centers. Countless ex-offenders, recovering addicts, the homeless, alcoholics, the HIV at risk, prostitutes, those on disability and the marginalized have found help and hope through the love of Jesus as it is expressed in the interracial fellowship of the broken and recovering that now meet at the “Front Porch” at 798 Grant St. The Front Porch houses a Café that employs recovering addicts and ex-offenders and is open for lunch Monday thru Friday and other community friendly activities occur there in the evening.

The work of the Crabbs family has been highlighted in articles in the Beacon Journal, the Buchtelite, Life and Leisure, the New Yorker and U.S. News and World Report. Duane has received the Firemark award for 1999 Firefighter of the year, the Leona W. Farris Caring award in 2004 and the Bishop Cosgrove Award in 2008. For their community work, Duane and his wife Lisa were honored as “exemplars” in The Flame of Love Research Project, commended by Summit County Council in 2007 and received the Justice Harold K. Stubbs Award in 2009.