The Rev. Michael and the Rev. Twanna Henderson, who lead the nondenominational New Beginnings Church, see the physical needs of those in poverty rising in this region of growing prosperity.
The church aims to minister to both physical and spiritual needs.
At noon on Good Friday, members of New Beginnings Church gave away gas and grocery cards worth $25 each to the first 150 cars in line. Then they held a drawing for a free $500 grocery card.
As a city, we are growing greatly in prosperity, but we are also growing greatly in poverty. These are polar opposites, and I think that the church has been put in the community to address these issues.
The Rev. Michael Henderson
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The “Fuel for the Soul Plus” event, now in its sixth year, has become a tradition with the Matthews church, and a favorite for church volunteers as more than 100 members take off work or use vacation time each year to come direct traffic, cheer cars on, shake hands and give hugs, and hand out the gift cards.
“Good Friday was the day Jesus gave up his life for us. Fuel for the Soul Plus is a practical way for us to give back and support our community,” said Twanna Henderson.
And nowhere, they say is that community support needed more than in the Charlotte area.
“As a city, we are growing greatly in prosperity, but we are also growing greatly in poverty. These are polar opposites, and I think that the church has been put in the community to address these issues,” said Michael Henderson.
“Fuel For the Soul will help our neighbors to get a tank of gas or some groceries this Easter season.”
While helping to meet the physical needs around them, New Beginnings Church is also celebrating a new beginning with their newest addition —the Harrisburg campus located at Hickory Ridge Middle School. Services there began April 2.
Twanna Henderson says that location was a natural site for a new campus as many of their members come from the Harrisburg/Cabarrus county area.
Their Indian Trail campus, located at Sun Valley Middle School, opened five years ago. Their Matthews campus, which streams live to the other two campuses, is located at 7027 Stillwell Road, just off Margaret Wallace Road on the border of Matthews and Mint Hill. It offers four services each Sunday.
We’ve tried to create an environment where anyone can come and be welcomed. Attire is casual because we don’t want clothes to be a barrier to anyone, and sermons are practical in both teaching and preaching. They will hear something each week that they can apply to their lives every day.
The Rev. Twanna Henderson
The church also offers an “Online Campus” where those who aren’t ready to come to a brick and mortar church can watch services streamed live.
During the past 18 years the church has grown dramatically, from 12 people in attendance at its first bible study in 1999 to more than 5,000 members today, and people keep on coming.
“I think there is a genuineness at the church that people can feel,” said Twanna Henderson.
“We’ve tried to create an environment where anyone can come and be welcomed. Attire is casual because we don’t want clothes to be a barrier to anyone, and sermons are practical in both teaching and preaching. They will hear something each week that they can apply to their lives every day.”
The Matthews campus offers MJ’s Special Needs ministry at 8 a.m. each Sunday, a special children’s church for kids with special needs.
“MJ is our special needs child, and we know what it is like for special needs parents. Studies show that over 90 percent of parents or caregivers of special needs children don’t attend church because they don’t feel welcome or don’t feel that the church can take care of their child,” said Henderson.
Through the week the church offers Bible study at noon and 7 p.m. Tuesdays, a full-time daycare, an afterschool program, summer camps and other opportunities for children and teens.
Other programs and ministries include volunteering in area schools and donating resources to those schools on an annual basis, giving away backpacks full of school supplies each fall, participating in a prison ministry for both men and women, and much more.
The New Beginnings Matthews campus recently added a Community Life Center, which features meeting space that can be rented by business and other groups, a small wedding chapel, and a separate Counseling Center that offers support groups including divorce care, anger management, grief counseling, self-esteem and recovery support. Private counseling is also available by appointment.
Melinda Johnston is a freelance writer: email@example.com.
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For information about campus locations and worship times, visit www.nbccministries.org , email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 704-567-2900.
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