Most people go to the Gold Hill YMCA to work their bodies.
At 10a.m. on Sunday mornings, SouthPoint Church also works on people's spirit.
SouthPoint began as a mission of the Anglican Mission in the Americas. In February 2005, the Rev. Jonathan Riddle, his wife, Lisa, and their three children moved back home to the Charlotte area from Florida to “plant” a church in Fort Mill.
What began as a service for six in Riddle's Fort Mill home has now turned into an average Sunday attendance of 80 at the Gold Hill YMCA, 1785 Gold Hill Road. And you'll be surprised how much 80 people can do, both here and abroad.
Pete and Lesley Burroughs of Fort Mill head SouthPoint's youth group. Destination Unknown meets once a month on a Friday evening, and as you would expect, the destination is truly unknown. Kids ages 8 and up gather at the YMCA and everything after that is a surprise.
“Once they were asked to come with detergent, and I know they thought they were going to have to do laundry,” said Pete Burroughs. Instead they were off on an adventure at Windjammer Park in Tega Cay, where they swam and watched fellow SouthPoint member Seth Frase ski on Lake Wylie. Frase, a freshman at Fort Mill High School, holds two world championship titles in barefoot endurance skiing.
What's the detergent for? It was on the needs list at the Children's Attention Home in Rock Hill, a place the youth group likes to support.
“The kids think it's cool to help other kids,” said Burroughs. “We pray, have fun and keep the ministry God-based.”
The youth group recently wrote letters to a SouthPoint member doing missionary work with AIDS patients in Peru. This helping spirit permeates SouthPoint; the church's vision is to impact lives both locally and beyond. Members point to Riddle as a driving force behind the mission work.
“Jonathan is a special spirit, and we are blessed to have him,” said Burroughs.
“We need to live out the gospel in our community, but also the world,” said Riddle. Locally, SouthPoint works with a prison ministry and an interfaith fellowship with the homeless. Globally, they partner with SIM, Serving In Mission, an international Christian mission organization, whose office is headquartered in Fort Mill. SouthPoint's missionaries are doing work across the globe but also in our own backyard.
Mark and Dedria Tidwell are an example of a unique ministry going on right here in Fort Mill. It's call MKStay. They provide missionary kids, “MK's,” ages 16 to 23 a place to stay while their missionary parents are serving overseas.
“That's God's work – to serve people,” said Riddle, “and we want to help.”
Read more about MKStay at www.mkstay.org. Details: www.southpointfm.com.