Published 12:04 am Friday, October 7, 2011
Last April, a group of pastors in the community met and asked a simple question: “How can we join together to glorify God in our community?”
After gathering input from a number of others and discussing the matter ourselves, we agreed that the most pressing need in Beaufort County is a domestic-violence shelter. We are acutely aware that North Carolina is in the top 10 states for domestic violence in the U.S.
As we began to investigate a domestic-violence shelter, we resolved that our guiding principles included being an ecumenical Christian organization (serving anyone regardless of his or her faith) that was strongly tied into, and supported by, the community. We agreed to begin as a small, efficient, scrupulous nonprofit that would serve our county.
That conversation is now culminating in Ruth’s House, which derives its name from the biblical story of Ruth — that woman of faith who left her home. We are in the midst of building a solid foundation by establishing sound organizational and financial policies and procedures. We are off to a fine start, and have already incorporated, established bylaws, created a board, elected officers and continue to work on our internal structure. We are dedicated to good stewardship and will use a CPA.
We are pursuing partnerships with other nonprofits, and are particularly thankful for the ongoing support that we have received from Diana Lucas, executive director of the Center for Family Violence Prevention in Greenville.
We are also gratified to realize that some members of the community are eager to support us financially. As such, in October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a number of churches are uniting in a one-time countywide offering to help us get off the ground. Our growing list of supporting churches includes Asbury United Methodist Church, Beebe Memorial CME Church, Christ Church, First Christian Church, First Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church, Grace Lutheran Church, Harvest Church, Mother of Mercy Catholic Church, Old Ford Church of Christ, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Spring Garden Missionary Baptist Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, Warren Chapel United Methodist Church and Zion Episcopal Church.
We warmly invite other churches and concerned residents to join us in the offering. More information will be posted on our forthcoming website (www.ruths-house.org) as we continue to move forward.
Your tax-deductible gifts may be sent to Ruth’s House, P.O. Box 2843, Washington, NC 27889.
The Rev. Darryl Evans is the associate pastor of First Presbyterian Church and president of the board of Ruth’s House.