Power Cross Ministries gives away gifts, 250 bikes at annual Christmas party

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 20, 2019

SALISBURY — Power Cross Ministries, a nonprofit with locations in both Salisbury and Statesville, held its annual Christmas party recently and organizers gave away over 250 bicycles to youth who participate in the programs.

The Christian-based organization provides academic support and mentorship to male youths.

The Christmas party, which was held Monday for all Power Cross participants and their families, occurred at the First Baptist Church Ministry Center gym.

“This was the first Christmas party held for just the Salisbury Power Cross participants. The previous two years, we have held a joint party in Statesville for both sites,” said Power Cross Co-founder Natalie Storment.

Every child there received a new bicycle, including siblings and other youth relatives of Power Cross program participants. The bicycles were possible through Bikes for Tykes, which donated more than 250 of them.

Organizers said they expected around 250 guests and set up chairs for 300, hoping for volunteers to have seats as well. But the crowd numbered at about 320 guests, with standing-room only guests included.

As guests arrived, they were greeted by live animals from the Nativity scene, which included a camel, donkey, sheep, and cow that helped bring the story to life, she said.

Organizers set up a photo station so families could take Christmas pictures.

“Every guest was given a wonderful Christmas dinner complete with turkey and dressing, ham, all the normal holiday side dishes and pecan pie,” Storment said.

The music was provided by the Cove Church’s West Rowan campus. Volunteers from F&M Bank and Life Church helped to serve dinner and welcome guests.

Former NFL football player and motivational speaker C.L. “Shep” Shepherd was the guest speaker.

Storment said Shepherd, “shared a message of inspiration with those in attendance and gave the crowd insight into his story and how deciding to follow Christ in his daily life changed not just his life, but the course of his family’s future.” During the event, about 40 people asked Christ to lead their lives.

Every child received gifts, including a dog tag with a Bible verse for the boys to wear. The dog tags are, “a reminder to keep Christ in their heart,” Storment said.

Each Power Cross participant also received a new winter jacket.

“The Christmas party is the only time all year that we can fit all of Power Cross together in one room — the boys, their families, our staff and board and volunteers,” Storment said. “We want to love on the children and their families and take the time each year to make sure the kids all have a good Christmas and the families feel love and community. We want to share with everyone the ultimate gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.”