When you hear the word “legendary”, it’s usually associated with celebrities or somebody of high esteem. Webster defines legendary as “Remarkable enough to be famous; very well known.” However, perhaps legendary individuals are simply those that have had a huge impact in the lives of many others during their life’s journey. In a nutshell, “legendary” best describes Minister Christopher Tate.
Born in Chicago, Illinois and raised primarily by his mother, the late Hazel Tate, Christopher has always been pretty much “attached to her hip”, always striving to be just like her. He idolized everything about his mother, from her dedication and commitment to others, her passion for the church and the work of the Lord, and more than anything her love for her children.
Watching her always helping people in crisis as well as caring for the elderly, Christopher was inspired to do the same. After his 2nd divorce, he became a full-time single parent of 2 remarkable children in the house, with one adult child already in college. Following his mother’s footsteps closely and always reaching out to her for advice, he raised his children with that same dedication and commitment.
In 1993, he began his phenomenal prison ministry in the state of California that would catapult over the years into 62 prisons nationwide, going behind the walls 3 to 5 times a week ministering and caring for thousands of men and women, reaffirming God’s forgiving and restoration power, and literally watching thousands of lives change before his very eyes.
In November 2018, he tragically lost his mother to cancer, and for the next year, he struggled with grief in a way that he never thought possible. Always living and striving to keep her legacy alive and make her happy, he continued his prison ministry and caring for others, Including his annual Thanksgiving Feast for Seniors and the now world-famous Golden Christmas gift distribution to Seniors.
In March of 2020, the entire world was suddenly overtaken by one of the worst viruses in history, Covid-19. Once it was determined that seniors are most at risk group and should not leave home, he immediately decided to do something about it. Using his entire tax refund, he created what would be known as the “Hazel Run.”
Grocery Shopping for Seniors, where he contacts seniors on a daily basis, collecting their grocery lists and traveling sometimes hundreds of miles just to deliver their groceries to their front doorsteps, totally free of charge to them. With many sanitizing and disinfecting items extremely hard to find, he would drive as far as a 110 miles just to get a can or 2 of Lysol spray for his seniors.
Since the beginning of this pandemic, in addition to the groceries, he has tried to go beyond the call of duty to make the seniors feel extra special. Whether it’s washing their cars, cutting grass, or even surprising many of them with birthday flowers and cakes, “anything to make them smile” was is goal. For Mother’s Day, he selected 10 Seniors and surprised them with bouquets of flowers and honor of his mother.
If you were to ask him today how he feels about what he does, he would say, “My goal is to make God and mommy happy. All I want is to leave a mark on this Earth to let people know Christopher Tate was here and lives were changed. If I can lift one senior a-day,….then it’s worth it all for me.”
Christopher’s work is a testament to the power of community in times of hardship. With the pandemic still in full effect, Christopher has continued his essential work.
You can contribute to the work Christopher is carrying out via the $PrisonMin cash app or @PrisonMin via Venmo.
Christopher’s recent interview can be accessed here.