LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - About the same time that railroad operations changed in Slaton, so did health care. The Sisters of Mercy were invited to build and open the hospital in 1929. While the emergency room doors closed for good in 1984, NewsChannel 11's Ann Wyatt Little shares how the legacy of Mercy still lives on in Slaton in many ways.
If you spend any time in Slaton, it won't take you long to notice the word mercy. The former hospital is now the Mercy Retreat Center, but there are two other mercy ministries in downtown Slaton, and one man who made it his mission to help others spread mercy.
"I'm officially retired - officially," said Deacon Darris Linder.
As city councilman, associate pastor, and co-director of the Mercy Retreat Center, Deacon Linder wears many hats in Slaton. "I don't like to be out front," said Linder.
He redirects the praise he receives to the Lord, who he says called him to help others. Linder and his wife Jeanette bought the corner building on Lynn Street years ago. "You don't know where the money is going to come from and you don't know where the time is going to come from either," said Linder.
What they did know is they were going to help others. Six years ago part of the building was reserved for Mercy Manna, a food ministry with a mission to feed the hungry in Slaton. "Our bills are $1,800-$2,000 a month but the people of Slaton come together and take care of it," said Linder.
Every Wednesday they issue vouchers in conjunction with the South Plains Food Bank, the Slaton Bakery donates sweets and Linder says without Slaton, Mercy Manna wouldn't exist.
For some families the need doesn't stop with food. The Cornerstone of Mercy, a clothing donation center. "It's like passing the torch you might say," said Linder.
Linder's granddaughter Heather cleaned 20 years worth of donations from the corner building to make room for more. "It's been an eye opening experience. Before, I didn't know so many people in Slaton that needed help. I knew people but didn't know the amount was so astounding," said Heather.
Deacon Linder hopes Heather and others will continue to carry the torch and improve the lives of others. "Mercy is showing people it doesn't matter where you are or what you have what. What matters is that you are here and you are you," said Heather.
The tentative grand opening for the Cornerstone of Mercy is August 1st. They are working to fill the shelves and are always accepting donations. It's located on the corner of Lynn and Main in Slaton.