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Senior housing building in Richmond Heights opens

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis Moss; Pastor Alphonso Jackson Sr., Second Baptist Church and President of SBC Community Development Corp.; and Cornerstone Group on Wednesday, April 6, joined to host the

Exterior shot of the East building at the gated entrance.

ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the Reverend John & Anita Ferguson Residence Apartments.

"We broke ground on February 7, 2015 and here we are approximately a year and two months later," said Mark Valentine, executive director of SBC Community Development Corp. (SBC CDC).

The construction project exceeded expectations on timing. It was the time it took from the vision to begin the actual construction that caused doubt in some but not all.

"Inscribed on the face of my watch for me to see every day is the word ‘believe.’ All things are possible if you believe - Mark 9:23,” said Commissioner Moss as he addressed the audience of more than 200 people. “We are gathered here today because we believe. Reverend Ferguson believed. Pastor Jackson believed. Second Baptist believed. You believed and I believed."

There were two ribbon-cutting ceremonies to celebrate the occasion. The first ceremony was a traditional ceremony for Commissioner Moss, Lenny Wolfe, Cornerstone and the SBC CDC Board. The second ceremony was for the community. Each resident gathered behind Pastor Jackson and the SBC CDC board to walk the grounds in unity and welcome the future residents prior to the community ribbon cutting.

Moss added that, "through belief Reverend Ferguson and Second Baptist created a vision for a holistic family campus that would service the entire community."

"What I want to thank Pastor Jackson for doing is taking Pastor Ferguson's vision and seeing it through," said Commissioner Moss on Jackson fulfilling the dream of the late Reverend Ferguson's dream of developing affordable housing for Seniors.

SBC CDC plans next to build a state-of-the-art Family Life Center to be housed on the property as well.

"It was in 2003 that we incorporated SBC Community Development Corporation of Richmond Heights and it has been a long journey to get here today," said Twila Payne, chairwoman, SBC CDC, about the new 79-unit Senior Apartment Residences. It sits on more than three acres complemented with two- and three-story buildings.

Notable guests in attendance were Florida State Representative Kionne McGhee; son of Richmond Heights community founder/developer, Captain Frank C. Martin; and the son and daughter of the late Reverend John and Anita Ferguson, Brian Ferguson and Karen Ferguson Webb.

SBC CDC sponsors its first funding special event for the Family Life Center. It takes place on May 8 and is entitled Mother's Day Jazz in the Bay. This inaugural benefit concert at South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center is set to be a Mother's Day treat and staple for years to come. Reserve seats at

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