In 2019, Rock Hill, S.C, Church members questioned what they could truly contribute to their community. It was discouraging looking at what larger churches could do; and, the local non-profit that connected churches with community service opportunities was closing. They prayed for a creative ministry idea, and at a board meeting in the fall, someone presented an idea. They had all seen the news stories about children not being able to afford school lunches or students being unable to graduate because they had outstanding lunch debt. Close to the church was a little school, and for the past few years they had been hosting back-to-school and end-of-the-year brunches for the teachers. Now it was time to take that community relationship to the next level.
Ken Herring, head elder, had already built a relationship with the elementary school, and now approached the principal. The school was excited about the opportunity, and explained that they had many students with outstanding debt. Church members began collecting loose change in September, and by the end of January, they had collected more than $1,500. This was enough to not only eliminate the current lunch debt for the entire school, but also provide a surplus to assist students with any new lunch debt for the rest of the school year.
The church’s relationship with the school has continued to grow, and now the members are considering branching out to the local middle school and high school, further expanding their influence in the community. A small church of 40 members has impacted the lives of 350 children. When the middle and high schools are added, this number will increase to more than 1,000. It is encouraging to these 40 individuals to know that even though they aren’t a large church, they can do great things and reach many people for Jesus.
Carolina | June 2020