About Our Founder, Miss Laura McCray

Miss Laura was an extraordinary woman who recognized the need to feed the homeless and hungry of Nashville. In 1997 Miss Laura's life was featured on an NBC documentary, "A Lifetime of Sharing." She was an example of an African-American woman who had worked through church and community structures to further the civil rights movement, hunger relief, African-American education and Christian service. She was also featured on "Passages," a 90-second radio series produced cooperatively by the United Methodist Communications and Presbyterian Media Mission. She remained active in community outreach into her 90s and was quoted as saying: "You never stop trying to do the best you can so that you can help someone else to be the best that they can be."

Nashville songwriter Radney Foster wrote of Miss Laura in his song, "Everyday Angel."

"In 'Everyday Angel,' he (Foster) fixes his gaze on ordinary folks who make their marks on the world by helping those in need ...one is the late Laura B. McCray, an Alabama woman who started a program to feed the poor at Luke 14:12 in Tennessee. McCray had been an active part of the civil rights movement, Foster says, as well as an instrumental figure in the early career of the Commodores at Tuskegee Institute. She offered the musicians a place to practice and use of a piano when such things were precious commodities to the fledgling group. Foster says the Commodores never forgot Miss Laura's kindness, and would send a limousine to fetch her to a front-row seat whenever they performed near Nashville. "

Foster says, more than 500 people showed up to memorialize McCray and remember her good deeds at her funeral. "In the music business, they talk about star quality, that indescribable charisma someone has," Foster says. 'Usually it's someone young and beautiful. She was elderly, movin' slow and peaceful. But when she walked into a room, she lit it up.' " (Mary Colurso, The Birmingham News). Taken from Radney Foster's Website, www.purespunk.com.