For Bishop Louella Tate, serving others is a lifelong mission.
By Andrea Comer
HARTFORD – Tate, director of the Walk in the Light Outreach Center at 32 Elm Street, started her mission 23 years ago. “I have been ministering for 42 years. I know exactly what and who I am. It took a long time to realize,” she said. Hence the theme of Walk in the Light’s 42nd Anniversary Awards Banquet.
“The I Am Who I Am” ceremony, to be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 27th at the Hartford Hilton, recognizes community leaders who have followed their own paths.
Photo: Senator Blumenthal and Congressman Larson share moment and congratulate Bishop Louella Tate recently at City Hall, Photo by Reggie Hales
Tate, who personally funds most of the support she provides for others, opened her first storefront church in the South End. The Center opened on Albany Avenue in 1989, followed by another move to Blue Hills Avenue before settling at the current location on Elm Street. Anyone who visits the Center can receive pastoral counseling, food, even prayer cloths. “I believe in reconstructing people’s minds, bodies and souls,” Tate said. “We all have to help each other, and push up our sleeves. That’s the way God wants it.”
In addition to her individual work, Tate also seeks out other religious leaders to improve the community. “All ministers in the City need to work together,” she said. “I see a lot of changes in the city, schools and buildings like Nelton Court are being rebuilt. But we need to rebuild our people, we need to help them get what they need.” She has spread her word of the need to strengthen the community through any vehicle she can find, including writing religious columns in the Inquiring News and through the Walk in the Light radio program on WKND 1230.
A native of Monticello, GA, Tate came to Hartford when she was 16, looking for a better life for herself. Instead, she has found fulfillment helping others.
Tate says people often ask her why she continues her volunteer efforts, even when she struggles at times herself. The answer, she said, is simple: God knows. “Last week I was lighting candles for all the young men in the city who are in trouble,” she said. “At the same time, and I didn’t know it then, my son had collapsed at work. God brought him back. While I was praying for others, God was on the battlefield watching.”
For more information on the Walk in the Light, contact Bishop Tate at 860-242-5242.