Kirk Craig, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Agape Ministries
"Urban Poverty Alleviation: Who is my neighbor?
Executive Director and Co-Founder of Agape Development Kirk Craig has spent most of his professional career in the non-profit sector, beginning as missionary to a small village in rural Bolivia where he combined spiritual care with job training in carpentry and culinary skills. Returning to Houston, Kirk began learning from local leadership in the greater Third Ward area and served as a volunteer in a local congregation providing guidance to young adults. He completed a master’s degree in Christian Formation and Ministry at Wheaton College with an emphasis on Urban Studies. During those years, Kirk worked in Chicago’s west side and downtown serving the homeless and unemployed, preparing him for work in Houston’s low-income communities. Since founding Agape Development in 2005, Kirk has been living and working in the OST/South Union community just south of Houston’s Third Ward.
Under his leadership, Agape Development has grown from a single program with 1 staff member into a multi-faceted Community Development Ministry serving all ages and employing nearly 30 individuals. While he personally served in many of the spiritual development and job placement roles, Kirk has recruited a board and staff with diverse talents to offer children’s after school programming, youth entrepreneurship, counseling, community gardening, as well as employment for ex-offenders in Agape’s own lawn care and home remodeling businesses. Kirk’s fundraising skills have increased the operational budget from less than $100,000 to over a $1,000,000 in addition to nearly $500,000 in earned revenue.
Kirk and his wife, both native Houstonians, are raising their four school aged children in 77021, involved in coaching various sports teams and serving in scouting activities.