Building Together founders retire

RALEIGH, N.C. — Freddy and Helen Johnson, founders of downtown Raleigh’s Building Together Ministries, have retired, The News & Observer reported July 5.

Freddy Johnson, formerly a contractor who built houses and apartments, and his wife, Helen, gave up the contracting business to move across the street from Halifax Court, a public housing complex, in 1989.

They purchased the old Barbee School, renovated it and started Christian-based Building Together Ministries to build racial reconciliation and help their low-income neighbors through programs including afterschool tutorials, summer camps, a thrift store, a charter school and senior care, The News & Observer said.

M. Lamont Cooper has taken over as executive director of the ministry, the newspaper said, but the Johnsons will continue to live downtown and provide guidance to the group.

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