Life Church puts Love Thy Neighbor into action

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 19, 2018

By Shavonne Walker

SALISBURY — On Saturday morning while some may have still been tucked into their beds, a group of more than 250 members of Life Church volunteered throughout the city to put into place the “art of neighboring” through Love Salisbury, a day of giving back.

Derek Overcash, his wife, Heather and their two children Maddie and Emma, volunteered as a family.

“Our community is important to us. It’s important to love on them,” Derek said of the community.

He said the purpose of the Love Salisbury project is to show support in the areas with a need.

“This is church,” said Pastor Chris Shelton.

He said things like this are important in reminding the church of why it exists in the community.

“We are doing things today in order to raise questions. Not to raise questions to draw attention to ourselves, but to raise questions to draw people and attention to Jesus,” Shelton told the volunteers.

He encouraged them to show love to the community. He said the hope is that the congregation goes beyond Saturday to make connections with those agencies, schools and places where they volunteered.

There were 17 sites including Knox Middle School, the Pregnancy Support Center, Rowan Helping Ministries, Catawba College, Livingstone College where volunteers conducted landscaping projects, painted and cleaned.

Catawba College student Taylor Fair found it an honor to serve. She said it’s nice to be able to look past differences and join together to invest in the community.

“It’s really cool to have this service project extend beyond the church service…beyond just inside my church,” said Catawba College student Natalie Standard.

“I think that the message our church is wanting to express is church shouldn’t be a designated place where people gather once a week. There is no better way to impact where we live than to love where we live,” said Emmanuelle Olavarria.

Olavarria, a Life Church member, volunteered alongside his wife, Amanda.

Ella Jones, 12, said she volunteered along with her parents Cybil and Kevin Jones as well as her siblings Lucy, Macy, Judah and Riley.

“It’s fun doing. Other people benefit from us helping them,” she said.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.