Please introduce yourself:
My name is Melvin Hargrove and I am a lifelong resident of Racine. I have been married to Marie Hargrove for 31 years. We have a son (Isaac) and two daughters (Gabrielle and Kiera), great niece (Kaylee) and one grandson (Riley). I am currently pastoring at Zoë Outreach Ministries and also the manager of Uplift 900 with Racine County.
Where are you from originally?
I was born and raised here in Racine on the Northside. I graduated from St. Catherine’s High School. My father passed away when I was 13 and I was raised with my other four siblings by our mother. She worked at American Motors until her retirement and she always stressed to us to get an education and to work hard. I enlisted in the Army for four years from high school and then the Army Reserve for another 15 years.
How did your life’s journey bring you back to Racine?
After I got out of the Army I came back to Racine and was also ordained a minister upon my return. I believed strongly that I was called back to Racine to do ministry and serve my community. I believed then as well as now the church is here to impact the community for The Kingdom of God in all aspects of its life. I believe I have been called to try my best to do just that in whatever capacity I can.
What do you like best about Racine?
What I like best about Racine is its lakefront and the ability to walk along the lake and meditate in the quiet mornings. I also like that it is strategically located between a major city to the north and an international city to the south and both are within an hour and a half drive so I can go and enjoy but come back and enjoy the quiet of home.
Please give some examples of how your work has made a positive impact on the community.
At Zoë we have been able to set and sustain a weekly community meals program as well as a community garden that grows fresh vegetables for the community. We have also established a NA/AA weekly group on Thursday and Sunday nights. We have in years past set up summer youth enrichment programs as well as summer league basketball. I have sought to engage on a more political level as a school board member/vice-president and president, I’ve also made two unsuccessful attempts at running for mayor. I’ve done all of this and much more for two reasons. First I believe it has been a calling and secondly because I love my community and my city.
What’s the least understood aspect about what you do?
The reason I do what I do.
What would you like to accomplish during the next 6 months? 12 months?
Get people prepared and ready for better paying jobs so they can support their families.
What’s the best way to contact you?
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.