By Katelyn Massarelli

Sitting outside of Moe’s Southwest Grill on a Tuesday night, group members of Breaking Down Walls eat, socialize, and catch up with each other before group leader, Cordale Alexander, alerts the group the meeting is going to start soon. He asks everyone to take each other’s hands, bow their head and pray with him. After, Alexander asks the group a question, “Do you think everyone wants to be loved?”

Breaking Down Walls relies on the love and support from each group member. The members come from all different backgrounds and are brought together by their interest in learning about God. The discussions based on Scripture references and belief make the subject matter relatable to the teens and young adults who come to meetings.

The group was started by Alexander in hopes to spread his love of God and Christianity to his friends and anyone willing to listen. His love stemming from a former youth minister in Miami and the people of Bell Shoals Church of Christ who allowed him to lead classes and helped him grow and develop as a Christian. The inspiration to help others who are struggling to love themselves derived from a close friend of his committing suicide just less than two years ago.

“My passion comes from realizing that [God] loves someone like me and everyone deserves to be loved also,” Alexander said, “People coming into the group are always missing something and they all want to find that missing piece and I’m just there to help them find it.”

Alexander’s passion is spread to every person in attendance. According to group member Tyler Caudillo, the group has helped him as an individual and has inspired him to be more open about his religion with young adults who are struggling to love themselves.

“We have had many people struggle with simply being loved and always feel like they are not worth anything in this world,” Caudillo said, “Many now come to us heartbroken and after they come to Breaking Down Walls they start seeing themselves as someone that’s worth something in life. [Group members] start to open up and are able to support other people who come in hurt just like they were.”

The meetings serve as a way for group members to not only learn about God, they are a way for them to allow themselves to explore and find who they are to help them become the person they wish to be and make new friends. Alexander hosts the meetings and organizes different trips to take with the group like beach excursions and laser tag games that act as team building exercises for the group.

Breaking Down Walls meets every Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. at Moe’s Southwest Grill located in Winthrop Plaza at 6020 Winthrop Town Center Ave. in Riverview. Contact Alexander at 506-0390 or cordalealexnder5@gmail.com