VINTON–Pastor Frank Broughman from Under the Bridge Ministry in Vinton received the 2016 Neighborhood Unsung Hero Award at this year’s annual Roanoke City Neighborhoods’ “Harvesting the Fruits” Award celebration. The ceremony and dinner were held at the Jefferson Center on November 11.
The Unsung Hero Award is one of the 2016 Neighborhood Partnership Awards. The dinner is sponsored by the Roanoke Office of Neighborhood Services and Roanoke Neighborhood Advocates in partnership with Roanoke City Council.
The Unsung Hero Award recognizes “the volunteer contributions made by an individual who repeatedly gives outstanding volunteer services to actively improve and positively affect the lives and living conditions of individuals in their neighborhood.”
Under the Bridge Ministry is a “non-denominational Christian church and outreach ministry whose purpose is to fulfill the Great Commission, provide for widows, orphans, the disabled and the homeless in the Southeast Roanoke and Vinton areas.” Broughman formed the ministry in 2012, which soon grew to include a bus ministry.
Broughman, known as “Pastor Frank” says the bus ministry “allows us to serve not only the spiritual needs of the less fortunate, but also provides them transportation back to the church where they hear God’s Word, get a meal, and take a few items of much needed clothing.”
With the bus, Broughman is able to provide transportation for medical appointments, shopping—“wherever they need transportation and whatever they need it for.” Under the Bridge Ministry works primarily in Vinton and Southeast Roanoke, but he says he always serves “anywhere he is needed.”
He has taken as his mission working with the often ignored homeless, with ex-offenders, those struggling with addictions, the young, the elderly–bring up a need, he is there to help find the solution.
Many, many people know Broughman or know of him. He says, “More people know me than I know people.”
Terry Huxhold, president of Roanoke’s Southeast Action Forum, nominated Broughman for the honor–one of 22 nominated for that particular award.
Broughman says he “sure wasn’t expecting to win. Don’t give Pastor Frank honor and praise, give it to God,” is his desire.
“Frank is a true asset to this community,” said Huxhold. “I have also created a GoFundMe page to help Frank continue doing his great works. His bus is very much in need of an engine and transmission and very soon.”
Broughman’s energy is awe-inspiring, as he suffers from some significant health issues himself. They don’t seem to slow him down; in fact, paradoxically, they seem to invigorate him to action.
He operates a small food bank which serves the residents of Morningside Manor and other residents of the Southeast neighborhood. He also volunteers at the Rescue Mission.
During the award presentation, it was also mentioned that, “Frank can always be counted on to help with tables and chairs for neighborhood events like National Night Out, the Dale Avenue Mural dedication, and the big block party held in the Kenwood neighborhood for which he was also able to help obtain the ‘Block Party Trailer’ from Liberty University that included games, a bouncy house, popcorn machine and snow cone maker in partnership with Crossroads Baptist Church, for the youth.”
In addition to his SE neighborhood volunteer activities, Frank also voluntarily serves the Roanoke Redevelopment & Housing Authority currently as president of the Morningside Manor Residents Council. He transports people to Charlottesville to obtain dentures.
Broughman and Under the Bridge Ministry provide meals and fellowship each summer for youth involved in the REACH program renovating housing in the area.
Pastor Tim Dayton, REACH Director and pastor at First Christian Church in Roanoke, coordinates groups which come to the area from all over the East Coast, and sometimes beyond, to complete the mission projects. REA CH interns and volunteers celebrate the completion of those successful mission trips at the Under the Bridge Ministry on Walnut Avenue in Vinton each Thursday night during the summer months.
Broughman has conducted fundraisers on behalf of the Southeast Action Forum, helped solicit volunteers to participate in neighborhood clean-ups and fed them during the process. Much of his work is self-funded.
He and his church have been involved with the recent Community Prayer Walk and Election Day Prayer and Communion Service along with other Vinton area churches.
He now has plans in the works to set up an office to help individuals struggling to pay for their prescription medications by working with pharmaceutical companies to get them the medicines they need. Broughman recently became aware of a such a need and negotiated with a drug company to donate medication to an individual for a year. That’s the impetus for the new program. He says what it takes is a file cabinet and a list of drug companies to get and keep the ball rolling on this project.
Broughman will be helping Pastor Dayton and REACH on their newest project—the organization just purchased at auction an abandoned home in the southeast neighborhood. He will be feeding the volunteers renovating the blighted property into an affordable home for a family starting out as homeowners. Dayton says this project is not only good for an individual family—it changes the look of an entire neighborhood.
Dayton says that “Frank partners with anybody and everybody. He has no ego in this. He just wants to get things done.”
Broughman preaches at Under the Bridge Ministry himself and invites other ministers as well. They hold services on Sunday at 1:30 and 6:30 and Bible Studies on Wednesday at 6:30.
The web link for the GoFundMe bus project is