Meet Michael Mishaw, Christ Church Cathedral's Habitat for Humanity Homeowner

Helping others is not just a charge of our humanity, but it is a cornerstone of all faiths, and faith that does not result in good deeds is not real faith. (James 2:20)

On May 4 and 5, the Cathedral will help build a house for Michael Mishaw, who lives with and cares for his 90-year-old mother. Michael successfully pursued a career in music while living in Los Angeles for a while, then returned to Nashville in 2014. He currently works as a professional singer and as a registrar at Saint Thomas Hospital. Michael has seen rent in Nashville increase steadily. Knowing it would be hard for him to qualify for a traditional mortgage, he took a friend’s advice and looked into Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program. Michael applied for the program last year but did not qualify. However, he worked with a financial counselor, reapplied, and qualified on his second try. As a future Habitat homeowner, Michael has been attending Habitat’s homeownership classes and will work on the build site with his sponsors to earn a 0% APR mortgage. “Owning a home will make me feel more empowered. Just being able to say this parcel is mine, and having the choice of doing with it what I want, makes me feel more secure,” he says. Michael has already saved money for a mortgage down payment and is ready for homeownership. He looks forward to having a dedicated music room in his new Habitat home and says he hopes to go back and work full-time in the field of music one day. To his sponsors Michael says, “I really appreciate your participation in the Habitat program. My being able to own a home is a result of your gifts.”

Habitat families have many stories, but they have one thing in common: They’ve come to Habitat willing to work to earn an opportunity to change their life. The only thing Habitat gives away is opportunity. Everything else is earned. Habitat’s partner families work hard to lift their lives out of poverty.

Habitat’s model of homeownership works to empower families. Partner families go through a rigorous selection process, take time out of their busy lives to attend homeownership classes twice a week, and work on the build site on the weekends, building not only their house, but also their neighbors' houses, to earn a zero percent interest mortgage rate.

The benefits of home ownership last for generations. Habitat for Humanity has found that children of homeowners are more likely to graduate high school, graduate college, vote, and become involved in their communities.

More volunteers are needed for Christ Church Cathedral’s two build days. Each day will start around 7 a.m. and will wrap up around 3:30 p.m. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Habitat for Humanity will provide all tools and instructions. On May 4, we will install interior doors, install and caulk trim, and paint interior rooms. On May 5, we will install kitchen cabinets and countertops, finish interior painting, and finish the front porch.

To volunteer, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page. Select a day, add your name and email address, and that’s it! If you have any questions, please contact Fielding Logan at

Dianne Green