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Father Gregory J. Boyle

Carry the Torch Knoxville | Volunteer Ministry Center | 511 North Broadway | Knoxville, TN 37917 | 865-524-3926


Carry the Torch Knoxville is an annual event that features speakers who have an impact on the issues of homelessness, mental health and, families.  The purpose of this event is two-fold: it is a fundraiser for the Volunteer Ministry Center (VMC) and a mechanism to educate the public that homelessness is a community problem. Carry the Torch features a mission fair at which attendees can sign up to volunteer for a variety of programs throughout the Knoxville area.  

The Volunteer Ministry Center is the host agency for Carry the Torch Knoxville. VMC is dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness in Knoxville.  The mission of the Volunteer Ministry Center is to facilitate permanent supportive housing for those who are homeless and to provide services to prevent homelessness.

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This year’s event will feature Father Gregory J. Boyle, a New York Times Best-Selling author Tattoos on the Heart:  The Power of Boundless Compassion.  Father Boyle is also the founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, California, now the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world.


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The first Carry the Torch Knoxville event was held in 2009 and featured Ron Hall and Denver Moore from the book Same Kind of Different As Me. There was magic in the air that day as guests were led to carry the torch. Since then, Carry the Torch has been held annually and has featured nationally recognized authors and speakers.

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VMC History