Ad Spot

June 14, 2021

Mission trip forges strong bonds among local churches

ROCKWELL — A Winston-Salem church with Rowan County connections strengthened bonds last week when it sent young members on a mission trip to the area.

About 15 middle school students from Shady Grove United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem spent last week in Rockwell working with local ministries and running a vacation Bible school.

“For a lot of them, this is their first mission experience,” said Leigh Bartoli, associate pastor at Shady Grove.

It’s an opportunity that came about thanks to Shady Grove Pastor Tom Mabry and Rockwell United Methodist Pastor Charlie Curtis. Mabry is a native of Faith, a former banker in Salisbury and a graduate of Hood Theological Seminary.

“He’s got that Salisbury-Faith background,” Curtis said.

Mabry also mentored Curtis when he was a new pastor. So when Shady Grove started looking for a place to go for an in-state mission trip, Rowan County placed high on the list.

Last week, the group trooped to Rockwell with a full schedule of activities. During the day, the group of middle schoolers split off into three groups and helped local ministries.

One group went to Nazareth Children’s Home and helped build a game pit, taught cooking lessons, led devotions and ran a tie-dye day. Another group went to Pfeiffer University, worked to stain a handicap ramp and helped out at Rowan Helping Ministries. The last group worked with Cooperative Christian Ministries in Kannapolis, painting the interior of a house.

“And this is all in three days that they did all that,” Curtis said.

During the evenings, the group helped at a vacation Bible school.

The program was a partnership among four local churches — Ursinus United Church of Christ, St. James Lutheran Church, Rockwell United Methodist Church and Grace Lowerstone Church.

Curtis said the group really hit it off with the roughly 50 children attending vacation Bible school. He said it was a good experience for everyone.

“The amazing thing to me was how the middle schoolers bonded with the kids,” he said. “These middle school kids really loved on those kids.”

Bartoli said the trip left her charges with good memories and lessons that will last a lifetime.

“We had a wonderful experience in Rowan County last week. … We were very touched by the experience,” she said.

At the end of the week, local churches collected money to pay for antibiotics for children in Haiti.

“So we did things not only for our county, but also for away missions,” Curtis said.

Going forward, Curtis hopes Rockwell United Methodist will be able to partner further with Shady Grove — perhaps even joining the church on overseas missions to Haiti or Costa Rica.

Vacation Bible school attendees also collected peanut butter to donate to Rowan Helping Ministries and children’s underwear to donate to Rowan County One Church One Child.

Curtis said the trip was a good example of churches working together to improve a community.

“I think that’s what I got out of it, that we’re not alone in this thing,” he said. “Sometimes we feel like our troubles are too big that we can’t solve them. But I hope God is big enough that we can solve these things – we can solve illiteracy, we can solve addiction. … We can make the world a better place.”

Curtis is also pastor of Liberty United Methodist Church.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264. 

Comments

Coronavirus

As COVID-19 cases wane, vaccine-lagging areas still at risk

Crime

Blotter: Man faces litany of charges for fleeing deputies investigating homicide

BREAKING NEWS

One killed, two others shot on South Jackson Street in Salisbury

Crime

State examining Davidson County emergency alert received in Rowan, other counties

Local

Cleveland Rodeo packs house for 10th year

News

Salisbury’s Jacques Belliveau talks mental health, filming during premiere of ‘Reggie: A Millennial Depression Comedy’

News

Sen. Ford backs new set of election-related bills

Business

Downtown Salisbury bullish on potential for more residential space

Business

Biz Roundup: Wine about Winter set for June 18

Business

Local artists draw in adventurous travelers with eclectic Airbnb rental downtown

Education

Commissioners discussing reviving joint capital project committee with school board

Business

Beech-Nut Stage One cereal recalled

Lifestyle

‘All Critters Big and Small’ program coming to library

Kannapolis

Area Sports Briefs: Former A.L. Brown standout Cambrea Sturgis wins two sprint events

Education

RSS administration to recommend return to five-day school week

College

Baseball notebook: Wingate wins national championship; high schools set sights on playoffs

Local

Gene Seaford gets fifth career ace at age 90

Education

Livingstone seeking nominees for inaugural ‘Forty Under 40’ Society

Business

‘Stopping that cycle’: Edman named director of Prevent Child Abuse Rowan

Nation/World

Biden urges G-7 leaders to call out and compete with China

Nation/World

Rash of mass shootings stirs US fears heading into summer

Landis

Landis town staff, Duke Energy work through the night to fix major power outage

College

College baseball: Top-seeded Arkansas routs NC State 21-2

Crime

Teacher accused of assaulting at-risk teen at New London military-style school