MCLA

Volunteers and participants at an MCLA legal clinic pray together. 

Southeast Senior Pastor Kyle Idleman will be the featured speaker at Metro Christian Legal Aid’s Prayer Breakfast Tuesday, Sept. 10.

The free event will highlight MCLA, which focuses on getting justice for those who cannot speak for themselves, bringing the Gospel into damaged lives and helping those who have no hope of navigating a complex legal system.

Guests will learn how MCLA, a partner of Southeast Christian Church, provides legal clinics in seven locations where people can get advice and direction on legal issues.

MCLA helps people like Rebecca, who panicked when bill collectors threatened a lawsuit for an overdue medical bill.

“I panicked,” she said. “I didn’t know anyone who could help me, and I couldn’t afford a lawyer. I was scared to death I’d lose everything.”

Her mentor, Southeast member Stephanie Clark, heard that panic and offered to attend an MCLA clinic with Rebecca.

How her visit unfolded was far from what Rebecca expected.

“Everybody there was so nice,” she said. “They even offered me refreshments and sat and talked with me as I filled out papers. They assigned me to a lawyer, who helped me through the whole thing. When it was time to leave, he said he was representing me. I was so relieved, so grateful.”

Rebecca returned to the clinic from time to time to consult with her lawyer, who helped her formulate a plan to pay the bill. When volunteers at the clinic found it was her birthday on one visit, they all stopped to sing, “Happy Birthday.”

“I’ll always remember that,” Rebecca said. “Everyone there has been so good to me. I never thought there was grace in the legal system.”

Now that the bill is paid in full, Rebecca and Clark are planning a celebration.

MCLA was founded in 2014 by Southeast member Randy Gibson with the mission to provide justice, bring hope, restore peace and change lives. The nonprofit ministry helps individuals, churches and other nonprofits with legal issues through clinics at locations throughout the Louisville Metro area.

“The need for free legal counsel can be overwhelming as there are thousands of clients who are not served in the Metro area alone,” Gibson said. “Metro Christian Legal Aid bridges the gap by providing free legal advice on housing, employment, family relationships, benefits, credit and Social Security issues, expungement of criminal records and immigration.”

Lawyers donate time to the clinics.

Three years ago, attorney Earl Mullins began volunteering for clinics at South Louisville Christian Church, Greater New Beginnings Christian Church, Southeast’s Indiana Campus and in Smoketown.

His law practice focuses on family law, personal injury and corporate litigation. In addition to being a lawyer, he is also a pastor, who speaks at churches when there is a need.

“These clinics are a real blessing for people who often feel forgotten or marginalized, those on the fringes who can’t afford an attorney,” he said. “This is a way to take Christ with you, to meet practical needs.”

Mullins said he is surprised by the quality of attorneys who volunteer with MCLA.

“They are top notch, incredibly skilled lawyers who volunteer with an incredible level of expertise,” he said. “They do it in such a personable way as they meet with people. These attorneys recognize that there is a spiritual issue at play. Legal issues are one of many consequences that occur in the lives of clients. They never lose sight of that.”

To attend the breakfast, register at www.metrochristianlegalaid.com.