In Our Community
Local missions are a dynamic and vital part of the life of First Presbyterian Church. Among others, we support the Women’s Resource Center, Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army, Residential Treatment Services, Positive Attitude Youth Center, and Crossroads Sexual Assault Response and Resource Center. Opportunities to serve remain constant and ongoing. Click Service Opportunities for more information or to get involved contact Charlotte Nance-Allbright or the church office at 336-228-1703.
Here are several other ministries and ways that you can get involved:
The Furniture Ministry Program collects slightly-used furniture and beds to deliver to families in Alamance County who are in need of beds and furnishings that we take for granted day to day. Volunteers meet in the FPC Parking Lot on the second Saturday of every month from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM to make deliveries. All are welcome to attend and assist in a delivery workday.
For more information about the Furniture Ministry, please click here.
Allied Churches of Alamance County
Allied Churches feeds, clothes, and shelters the homeless and vulnerable residents in our community. Sunday school classes, youth, young adults, and Bible studies sign up on a monthly basis to prepare and serve dinner at ACAC.
Habitat for Humanity
Since 1990, First Presbyterian Church has partnered with neighboring churches and built many homes in Alamance County. FPC has also provided valuable support to this ministry—volunteers, hospitality and lodging for visiting groups, facilities use, and prayer support. Keep an eye on the church calendar for build dates and the Women’s Build!
Andrews Elementary Partnership
First Presbyterian provides Reading buddies for the K–3rd grades. These buddies spend an hour in the classroom once a week from October — May. Buddies may work with one child or several children during the hour.
One hundred twenty five snack packs, containing 15 items, are provided once a month for an entire grade at Andrews. [1,125 snack packs]. The snack packs provide food over the weekend for the children. We feed the teachers in August and December and provide treats or gifts for the teachers during Teacher Appreciation week in May. Volunteers prepare and serve the meals.
The FPC Presbyterian Women partnered with the members of our church to conduct a church-wide book drive to benefit the students at Andrews Elementary School. The books were distributed to the students at this Title I school to take home for summer reading. Over 400 books were donated and delivered to Andrews Elementary School.
Benevolence Farm is one of FPC’s new local missions. The residential program helps incarcerated women reenter society and address their many needs. Almost half the women do not have a stable place to live, few have job skills, and many are dealing with addiction or mental health issues. One-third of women return to prison within three years of their release. Benevolence Farm grows and sells fresh produce, flowers and herbs and manufactures body care products. Residents make, package, and sell the body care products with all the proceeds going back into the program and paying residents’ wages.
Morrow Town Community Group
After a resident of the Morrow Town Community lost her son to violence in the neighborhood, she began to reach out to others in the community, who were touched by violence. In 2017 another resident lost her grandson to violence. Soon residents, pastors and community partners joined forces to form Morrow Town Community Group (formerly Morrow Town Task Force). Since the group formed, many positive changes have occurred including safety improvements, community cleanup days, community care package distributions, community health fairs, job fairs, Mother’s Day celebrations, voter registrations and prayer walks. Mondays at Morrow Town, and enrichment program for children, began in July 2020. Volunteers are welcome to conduct a program, such as arts and crafts or a science experiment for the children, on a Monday. In Fall 2020 the group received their 501(3)c status. In 2021 they are purchasing an empty lot for a Community Garden.
Meals on Wheels
The mission of Alamance County Meals on Wheels, Inc. (ACMOW) is to provide in-home nutritional services in Alamance County. These services improve and enhance the quality of life and promote independent living for seniors and their families. First Presbyterian Church (FPC) has housed the offices of ACMOW since its inception in 1973. Today, ACMOW
serves 350 people. Volunteers run twenty hot routes Monday–Friday each week. FPC is responsible for one of the twenty hot meal routes for one week every four weeks. Paid drivers deliver five frozen meals to seniors out in the county.
ACMOW also provides:
- Birthday bags: toiletries, socks, flashlights, puzzle books, note pads
- Shelf stable foods
- Pet food
Diapers and baby wipes are collected for Allied Churches, Salvation Army, Family Abuse Services, the Baby Closet (Alamance Health Dept.), ABSS and other community agencies to help families with urgent diaper needs. Donations may be brought to the church and volunteers deliver to the Alamance Partnership for Children who sorts and distributes the diapers for the church. Volunteers may also pick up at the NC Diaper Bank in Durham for APC. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feeding the Hungry
The program for Feeding the Hungry at First Presbyterian Church in Burlington began several years ago when a community program called Loaves and Fishes, with which we participated, was discontinued and we saw the need to continue programs for providing food for the needy in our community. Since that time, our church’s monthly contribution of food to community food programs has continued to grow.
We began by challenging our congregation to bring in non-perishable food items (dry and canned) once each month. The initial response was strong and has continued to be sustained over the years. Boxes are placed at several strategic places in the church, where the gifts of food can be deposited. These are then moved to food closets in the church, where the food is stored until it is ready for pickup by the Salvation Army.
From the beginning, our food program has been coordinated with the Salvation Army. About twice each month, they come to pick up the food, which typically amounts to approximately
ten large boxes of food. The Salvation Army then distributes the food as part of their larger program to feed the hungry. They also work with Allied Churches, a local homeless shelter, to provide their food needs, so we are indirectly touching a large segment of our community.
It has been heartening to see how our congregation continues to respond to Christ’s admonition (“I was hungry and you fed me”) and there is every indication that this program will continue at our church for as long as there is a need.
Positive Attitude Youth Center
The Positive Attitude Youth Center (PAYC) began operation in 1994 and in 2019 is celebrating a Twenty-Fifth anniversary of community service.
First Presbyterian Church has had a presence with PAYC, almost since its beginning. Several FPC members served as teachers and tutors. Initial board members included First Presbyterian members: “Cattie” McCormick, Ralph Holt and Fairfax Reynolds. Current board members include: Ami Hill, Avery Wagoner and Charlie Harris.
The PAYC mission is to reach out to children and youth to help them mature physically, spiritually and emotionally.
Currently, there are 85 youth participating in a summer program and Day Care. The Center is open from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday for ten weeks during the summer.
During the winter and spring months, the Day Care serves ten to 20 children all day and approximately 30 children after school. Children are picked up by PAYC at their school and brought to the center.
The PAYC Academy normally has 16-20 children, 4th grade to 11th grade. These children do not function properly in the school system. They are taught and counseled individually. The success rate in this group is good and following counseling many are reinstated in the school system.
The agency works to reduce sexual violence, child victimization and their effects through confidential counseling, advocacy, child medical treatment, education and community awareness for adults and children. CrossRoads has integrated human trafficking services through a merger with Alamance for Freedom. Approximately 90% of those rescued from trafficking have a history of child sexual abuse. CrossRoads maintains a case load of 600–700 children and adults. Volunteers staff a 24-hour crisis line, give presentations in schools and communities, help with fundraisers and office work.
Women’s Resource Center
The Women’s Resource Center helps women and their families improve and enrich their lives with focuses on education, financial stability and wellness through workshops and individual services provided by professional counselors. Volunteers help in the office and with fundraisers and work with clients in many ways. The Women’s Resource Center partners with Benevolence Farms on United Way grants. Benevolence Farms residents attend workshops at WRC thereby helping their integration back into society. Benevolence Farms is one of the very few Alamance County organizations that work with former female inmates in this type of setting.
Residential Treatment Services
Residential Treatment Services of Alamance (RTSA), will be celebrating its 46th anniversary year having originally opened its door in May of 1971 as Wesley Hall of Alamance. Since that time, RTSA has grown tremendously. We have gone from operating one facility to operating four 24-hour/day, 365 days/year facilities. RTSA is licensed to provide Supervised Living-Low, Supervised Living-Moderate, Non-Hospitalized Medical Detoxification and Facility Based Crisis Services. The Supervised Living-Low services are provided through a 17-bed Halfway House for Men at the Hall Avenue facility. The Supervised Living Moderate services are provided at two supported group homes for those individuals with mental illness — Crestview 1, a six bed facility for men, and Crestview 2, a six bed facility for women.
The Non-Hospital Medical Detoxification and Facility Based Crisis Services are offered in an eight-bed unit located at the Hall Avenue facility. RTSA operates a six-bed program for homeless women with substance abuse and/or mental health issues at the Mebane Street facility. To increase revenues, RTSA opened its upscale thrift store in 2003, Trollinger Treasures, which assists in raising funds for the organization.
We are a Matthew 25 Church
Our congregation has accepted the PC(USA)’s invitation to follow Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 25:31–46 by becoming active disciples and making a difference in our community and the world. As part of our Matthew 25 commitment, we pledge to embrace one or more of these three areas of focus:
• Building congregational vitality by deepening and energizing our faith and growing as joyful leaders and disciples actively engaged with our community as we share the gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed.
• Dismantling structural racism by fearlessly applying our faith to advocate and break down the systems, practices and thinking that underlie discrimination, bias, prejudice and oppression of people of color.
• Eradicating systemic poverty by acting on our beliefs and working to change laws, policies, plans and structures in our society that perpetuate economic exploitation of people who are poor.
To learn more and for ideas on how to get involved and do your vital part as a member of a Matthew 25 church, please visit pcusa.org/matthew25.
Racial Justice Task Force
Alamance County Community Remembrance Coalition
Join the FPC family in learning about the community organization Alamance County Community Remembrance Coalition. This event will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, September 22 from 7-8:30pm. Our own Loy Campbell, along with LaShauna Austria, will lead us in a presentation and discussion about the work of the Coalition in affiliation with the Equal Justice Initiate. In keeping with our commitment as a Matthew 25 church to fight racism, we are called to learn more about this important initiative. Please use this link to register so we may send you the Zoom link: https://forms.gle/CKcrr8VBh3qUzZre7
The Alamance County Community Remembrance Coalition (ACCRC) memorializes documented victims of racial terror, fosters meaningful dialogue about race and justice, and educates Alamance County about its history. ACCRC collaborates with the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama to host community events (which will include site soil collection, historical marker placement, and monument placement) in partnership with local groups. Its vision is to create a diverse and equitable community transformed through healing from racial terror.
Beginning with community level discussion in late 2019, the ACCRC formed and prepared an application seeking partnership with the the Equal Justice Initiative. ACCRC was accepted into EJI’s Community Remembrance Project in early 2021. To learn more about the Equal Justice Initiative and their national Community Remembrance Project efforts, please visit https://eji.org/
The ACCRC co-chairs are Loy Campbell (member of FPC and the FPC Racial Justice Task Force) and LaShauna Austria (the facilitator of the RJTF’s five-part Christians and Racial Equity Workshop completed earlier this year). Members of the Coalition are residents of Alamance County and/or are involved in organizations or agencies within Alamance County. Members are intentionally diverse and have a wide range of knowledge and experience with county history, civic engagement, and racial justice. Members represent diverse sectors including faith communities, higher education, and community organizations covering various topics such as health equity, food and social justice, community resilience, arts and education, and more.
As a Matthew 25 church, charged with dismantling structural racism, eradicating systemic poverty, and building congregational vitality, learning about organizations within our community addressing any of these elements is consistent with our mission.
The Call to Racial Justice — The 21-Day Challenge
We’ve seen the news of protests, we’ve seen the gruesome videos of black people being killed by other citizens and police, we’ve heard the cries of mothers losing their children too soon. What are we called to do as Christians? First Presbyterian Church Burlington is a Matthew 25 church, meaning we are committed to working towards a more equitable community; of course this is the work Jesus has always called us to do! But WHAT NOW? One next step you can take is the “21 Day Challenge”, a way for us to learn and grow and act, working towards the vision of equity that Jesus promoted. Follow this link for more information about the 21-Day Challenge.
Click here to read some additional suggestions from the Racial Justice Task Force.
Follow this link for a list of local black-owned businesses we can make an effort to support.