On January 20, 2007, Pastor Roger Gardner and his wife Kimmi, along with a small group of volunteers, began serving hot meals and providing basic life supplies to the inner-city poor on Saturday afternoons under the Calhoun Expressway on 15th Street. This helped open the door to restore lives with love, hope, and dignity.
In the beginning, New Hope Worship Center stood alone in supporting the ministry both physically and financially, to impact the culture in downtown Augusta. Through the years, the ministry has gained the support of multiple churches and businesses who share the heart to make a difference in the lives of people in our city. Today, 800,000 lbs. of food and thousands of clothing items, along with furniture, financial assistance, disaster relief, counseling and basic life necessities are distributed across the region, through Bridge Services, Adopt-A-Block, Benevolence and our Food Pantry.
Since the ministry's inception, countless lives have been forever changed: social and racial barriers have been removed, families restored, homeless have obtained housing, many who were unemployed have found jobs, physical and mental health has been regained as addictions and destructive lifestyles have been broken.
The Bridge Ministry of the CSRA is a 501(c)(3), Non-Profit Inc. committed to loving, giving, and serving the homeless and poor throughout our region.
Roger Gardner is founder and CEO of The Bridge Ministry of the CSRA. The Bridge has served the poor and inner-city homeless in the Augusta area since January 2007. Pastor Roger was born in California, raised in Kansas, and has been an Augusta resident since 1994. He is a graduate of Rhema Bible College and has completed a ministry internship through the Church of God. Pastor Roger and Mrs. Kimmi are the parents of three, and grandparents of seven. You can often find Pastor Roger bicycling along the Augusta canal or riding his Harley around town. His heart's desire is to see the lost saved, unification within the Body of Christ, ministry and discipleship to the nations, and to see America as one nation under God, consumed with revival.
Board of Directors
Left to right: Roger Gardner, CEO/Founder of Bridge Ministry of the CSRA. Attends Fathers House. Hugh Hollar, Board Treasurer, Banker at Colony Bank. Attends First Baptist Church Augusta. Tonia Gibbons, Board Secretary, CEO/Founder Farr More Associates. Attends Abundant Life Church. David Hawthorne, Board Member, Retired Operator Kimberly Clark. Attends Faith Outreach Church. Richard Davis, Vice President, Retired Engineer. Attends New Hope Worship Center. Michael Whitaker Jr., Board Member, Government Contractor, Defensive Cyber Operations SME.
Ashley Hall is an Augusta native that has always found joy in serving. She knew she found her calling when she began volunteering at the Bridge Ministry. Her love and passion for this ministry brought her from a weekly volunteer to now operating as a full-time employee. She calls herself the "anytary" because she will do anything that needs to be done for the ministry. She focuses on heading up the food pantry throughout the week. On Saturdays early in the morning she helps in the kitchen when when needed and during Saturday services you can find her helping in the Children's ministry, coordinating volunteers, assisting with benevolence, and being a great secretary!
As the Bridge Kids coordinator, Ashley schedules and oversees the volunteers who lead Bridge Kids in the nursery and big kids every week. Having worked with the ministry since 2019, she is very passionate about making sure all aspects of the children's church run smoothly, from set up to tear down to sign-in and teaching and everything in between. She makes sure the bus is properly packed with lessons and toys to diapers and snacks and everything is where it needs to be for the upcoming week. While coordinating volunteers and sharing enthusiasm for the ministry, she also manages The Bridge Ministry's social media pages.