Raising up a generation who know their God, and their purpose!
The ExCEL Center originated in Houston, Texas, in April of 1998, as an afterschool center, after God placed a burden on Mary’s heart for the at-risk students Mary taught, and others she would see in the streets when leaving her work.
No hope, nor purpose, no supervision. They were latch key kids wasting time until their parents got home. Some parents wouldn’t even come home because they had to work 2 – 3 jobs just to survive. Many of the students were being taking care of by older siblings, not even a couple of years older than them. Due to the lack of supervision, some students fell into hands of drugs, alcohol, and gangs. Many of the students would return to school with undone homework, unbathed and often hungry.
Mary was eager to help these students that she asked an apartment manager if she could have an apartment to teach students. The manager leased her out an apartment and that’s how The ExCEL Center began.
Students would come afterschool and do their homework. They would learn about God’s love, His Word and the plan of God for their life. They also participated in sports, and dance.
Mary would also serve the parents by offering ESL, GED and Bible classes. The center was growing until in 2000, when the Lord moved Mary and her husband to the Dallas area to help a pastor. God told her if she would sacrifice the center that one day He would resurrect it.
In the meantime, Mary worked as a principal, but always had the center in her heart. Then in 2011, the Lord asked her to resign from her job and begin The ExCEL Center and focus on ministry.
In 2012, Mary moved back to Houston. It was then that God spoke to her again and said, “The ExCEL Center will not only be an afterschool program, but a Christian School.” This was due to the fact that Mary had been very dissatisfied with the public school that her two boys were attending, and her boys not being accepted into two Christian schools.