His childhood shaped the rest of his life.

Share with your friends:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

Wait What, He Was a Child!?!

Do you know who Michael Luther King Jr. is? Yes, I said Michael Luther King Jr. Michael was born January 15, 1929. At the age of six his father decided that the two should switch out their first names for Martin, in honor of Martin Luther, the priest who brought about the Protestant Reformation. But many people don’t know he was named Michael Luther King Jr. at birth. Did you know? Many of us have heard the great stories of the Civil Rights movement, but who was he as a child?

Hated doing dishes, loved ice cream and the board game Monopoly, and sometimes popped off the heads of his sister’s dolls to use them as baseballs. “He was an ordinary kid” said Marty Smith, a park ranger at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, where he leads tours of the six-bedroom home where King grew up. “Just later on in life he did extraordinary things.” – The Washington Post

As a kid, he wanted to be a Fireman (like a lot of children). Then he wanted to become a doctor, he even wanted to be a lawyer. Ultimately becoming what his father, and father’s father were – a Minister and Civil Rights activist.

One thing that stuck out to me while reading more about Dr. King Jr., is that as a child learning Bible scriptures was a major part of his studies. Why is it important to bring this up now, you ask? Because we at HHYD have the children of North Minneapolis in our care. We are working on the Character Development…that Dr. King exemplified: Hospitality. Honesty. Humility. Honor. Harmony. Hard Work. Heart for God.

Mike Max / Rev Interview

Mike Max came to HHYD on December 15, 2023 to have a sit down interview with Rev. Johnny Hunter, Executive Director. Just in case you didn’t get a chance to see the interview on the Mike Max show that aired on Dec. 25, Christmas, 10:00 p.m. news segment here is the link:

Blessings to all as we prepare for a blessed 2024.

Outings and fun times

During Winter School Break the children engaged in two outings: They went to see the Wonka movie at AMC Southdale 16 Movie Theater – Edina MN and went roller skating at Cheap Skate – Coon Rapids MN.

Gaga pit was donated by Judy Betker

“I worked in inner city health care my entire career. Now I support my son and daughter in-law in their homeless ministry. My grandkids call me GaGa so this request just caught my eye!” Judy Betker

We set up the new Gaga Ball game and the kids love it!

Thank you Judy for your generous donation to Hospitality House Youth Development.

A Christmas Blessing

Corey Pink of Starland Charities, a long-time partner of HHYD, generously provided our families with some gifts for the holidays. Below is a photo of the kids and some of their families with the presents. They were so very excited!

Thank you Corey and Starland for helping to make Christmas at HHYD a little brighter, we are very grateful for your support and partnership!

Organized Basketball Practice:

Basketball season practice has started. The teams have been practicing for about 3 weeks now with the season set to start the 2nd week in January.

HHYD offers basketball for ages 6-15 years old. This season we have 4 teams: our younger groups in the 6U and 8U divisions; we have an 11U team co-ed; and we have a 14U team that is the defending champs. Basketball has always been a staple here at HHYD, it provides team building, team work, and the ability to build a relationship with the Lord through sports.

Board Spotlight

hospitality house board member brian wright

My name is Brian Wright and I joined the HHYD board in August, 2023. My relationship with Jesus impacts my very soul. I’m currently the Director of Community Partners for 98.5 KTIS radio, a Christian radio ministry of the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Over the last several months, KTIS has been rated the top radio station in the Twin Cities. Prior to KTIS, I worked in a variety of non-profit settings after spending many years in corporate marketing roles. Until recently, I served on the board of Metro Meals on Wheels, chairing their Development Committee. Interestingly, the day after I left their board, Rev. Johnny Hunter called me about joining the HHYD board.

I’ve been married to my best friend, Polly, for 40 years. We have two adult children, both married, and we enjoy time with our granddaughter—another grandchild is on the way!

I first got involved with HHYD decades ago when a softball teammate invited me to volunteer. I disconnected for several years but got invited to the Business Breakfast which got me thinking about my time growing up in St. Paul. I most desire that the youth at HHYD realize their true identity in Christ, regardless of their circumstances or what their friends say. Jesus loves them so dearly and He has a purpose and a plan just for them. Recently, I learned that the youth at HHYD were studying Rick Warren’s “40 Days of Purpose” and are REALLY engaging. This touched my heart because that book made an impact on my faith journey years ago.

I also have a passion for college football; I love the rivalry and traditions. I’ve coached high school and college football in the past enjoying the strategy, preparation and life-lessons learned in sports. Polly and I love traveling to Florida in the spring and I’ve been known to bake a pretty mean batch of chocolate chip cookies too.

Would you or someone you know like to work at HHYD?

Did you know Hospitality House is hiring? HHYD is always looking for high-quality candidates to join our team.

We’re currently looking for:
Education Director

If you or anyone you know might be interested, please share this link to the job descriptions: https://hhyd.org/job-opportunities/

Site Visits

Taylor Salomon and Nixon Salomon (In-kind-gift) January 17, 2024

Taylor, a 17-year-old high school senior was looking online for nonprofits in the Minneapolis area where she could make a donation. During her research she came across a few that piqued her interest. HHYD was one that stood out, and she said the fact that we are a Christian organization confirmed it for her. After reviewing HHYD’s website, she found our Donation, In-Kind section and reached out to get more information. Not only did she bring in her In-Kind donation, but she brought her father Nixon.

This site visit was very refreshing when you consider this young lady Taylor, set this visit up without any prompting from her parents, and the fact that she looks for Christian organizations…WOW, 17 years old! There are more Generation Z’s out there much like Taylor, and we believe we have them at HHYD!

Interested in a Site Visit? Contact Walter Cox, Development Officer wcox@hhyd.org or 612.522.4485 ext. 19


Hospitality House Youth Development is looking for new volunteers. What God-given talent would you like to share?

  • Tutor a student in math or reading
  • Coach a basketball or baseball team
  • Plan events
  • Invite a group from your church, company or organization

We would love to hear from you! Call 612.522.4485 or apply online today…

Sign up for our Monthly E-Newsletter

About Us

Hospitality House Youth Development provides a Christian outreach, focused on the spiritual, intellectual and physical development of inner city youth and their families.

Follow Us On Social

Recent Newsletters

Don't Forget to Sign up for our E-Newsletter!