R.E.A.L. Christian Foundation is a Christian-based charitable foundation established in the state of Mississippi specifically to address the needs of rural based ministries. The foundation is the culmination of the joint life journeys of Dolphus and Rosie Weary. Although Dr. Weary declared that he would never return to Mississippi, he and Mrs. Weary returned to Mendenhall, Mississippi in 1964. In the preface of his autobiography, I Ain’t Comin’ Back, (one of the Foundation’s primary source of income), Dr. Weary explains, “The dreams of any poor person, no matter where he or she grows up in the world, no matter what color his skin, is to run away from poverty as far as he possibly can. Sometimes the person ignores the voice of God in the process. I’m thankful and glad that God didn’t allow me to ignore His voice, but instead gave me the privilege to return to the poor, rural racially-torn community of Mendenhall, Mississippi. I am even more blessed to have developed a faith to believe that He could use me there.” Just as Dr. Weary believed that God could use him in Mendenhall, R.E.A.L. strives to be a vehicle that God can use to kindle that kind of faith and hope in others’ living in rural communities.
The Foundation’s success can be credited to years of experience in Christian community development work by the Wearys. Dr. and Mrs. Weary labored at The Mendenhall Ministries, where Dr. Weary served as Youth Christian Leadership Development Director from 1964 through 1971 and as President from 1971 until 1997. Under Dr. Weary’s leadership, The Mendenhall Ministries was named the 541st Daily Point of Light by former President George Bush in 1991. Only six organizations in the state of Mississippi received this special designation. After leaving The Mendenhall Ministries in 1997, Dr. Weary began working with Mission Mississippi, a Christian organization committed to racial reconciliation in the state of Mississippi, and Mrs. Weary began to provide leadership for R.E.A.L. Christian Foundation.
From the seeds of the rebellious statement about a southern tyranny of racism and hard times, a dynamic ministry has evolved. Today that ministry has grown into an incorporated foundation that harbors a Samaritan love for all people. The Foundation’s support of small rural Christian ministries is expected to create a multiplier effect in the communities served and also to increase levels of educational attainment and leadership development in rural Mississippi. With its one-million dollar endowment, R.E.A.L.’s goal is to under-grid at least 20 Christian community-based ministries with financial support and technical assistance annually.
R.E.A.L. Christian Foundation aspires to improve the quality of life for rural Mississippians by empowering and enhancing Christian community-based ministries to perform better. This support includes technical assistance, (leadership and organizational development), and mini grants for capacity building and program development.