Organizers of The Refuge, a nonprofit ministry for high school and college students, say they want to have a Bridge City “church without walls.”

Steve Culp and Cody Hogden, along with about 50 members of 20 24 Ministries, have revamped the old King’s Pharmacy building at 1160 Texas Ave. The Refuge opens May 30. 

A message will be delivered for high school students on Mondays and college students on Thursdays, Hogden said. 

“There also will be numerous opportunities provided for them to serve and share their faith in the community, country and around the world,” he said. “We will equip and encourage students to follow Christ on a day-by-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute basis.

“It is not our desire to be a substitute for the local church, but rather to be a threshold to the local church. We strongly believe it is imperative that students get plugged in to a local body of believers in order to be all God has created them to be. The Refuge is committed to discipleship and we know that church involvement is essential for following Christ throughout one’s lifetime.”

The Refuge also will seek financial support from local churches and the community, whether it’s a one-time gift, weekly or monthly.

“Start up costs, combined with the cost of monthly utilities and rent can add up quickly,” Hogden said.

The 20 24 Ministries group recently received 501(c)3 status in order to make all donations tax deductible. News, photos and upcoming events at The Refuge are available on the World Wide Web at

“We’ll keep after-school hours from 3 to 10,” Culp said, and will be closed on Sundays and Wednesdays. “It’s going to be a positive place. We’ll have some game tables, a place to study, areas for fellowship, places for music and if you want something cool to drink. There will be a ‘smoothie’ bar available.”

Plans are also underway for a sound system and stage area for live entertainment.

“We’ve been heading this direction about three years,” Culp said.

“Kids just don’t have a place like this they can go in our little community. It will be a haven where they won’t be solicited for drugs and other things that are so prevalent in our society.”

Hogden said that three years ago, “God placed a vision” in his heart to begin an outreach ministry in the Bridge City area.

Culp added, “This will be open to everyone – church people and non-church people. Mainly we’re targeting a ‘fringe’ group: the young people out there that have no family or community support.”

Group members recently helped repair homeowners’ property damaged by Hurricane Ike, and worked with Port Arthur’s Catholic Charities organization.

For more information, go to, send an e-mail message to; or call Hogden at 313-1720,