Church donates $20,000 to local nonprofits

Published 5:58 pm Wednesday, June 5, 2019

An Easter Sunday collection at First Church of Christ in Washington will go a long way in providing for the needs of local people. Collecting more than $20,000, the church recently donated $5,000 to four community nonprofits, including Zion Shelter and Kitchen, Ruth’s House, the Coastal Pregnancy Center and the Purpose of God Annex.

“We think all four of these organizations are worthy of a little bit of attention,” said First Church of Christ Minister Johnny Pressley.

In years past, the church has traditionally taken up a large collection on Easter Sunday, benefitting local nonprofits, as well as larger national and international efforts. This year, the entirety of the collection benefited organizations serving Beaufort County.

“Most of our congregation are Beaufort County people, so anytime we do something local, they light up with that,” Pressley said. “We still try to do the international, because we want them to have a wider vision of the world, but every time we do something local, they just think that’s good.”

Zion Shelter and Kitchen serves as a shelter for homeless men in Washington, and provides a hot lunch to anyone in need five days a week. The shelter, located in the basement of Metropolitan AME Zion Church on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, was flooded during Hurricane Florence and is still undergoing renovations. The church’s gift will assist in the shelter’s rebuilding efforts.

Ruth’s House provides shelter services and assistance for survivors of domestic violence in Beaufort County. In addition, the nonprofit also engages in community outreach and education with the intention of breaking the cycle of domestic violence. For more information, visit

RUTH’S HOUSE: Pictured are First Church of Christ staff member Sandy Moore, Ruth’s House Executive Director Valerie Kines, Ruth’s House Board President John Rebholz and First Church Elder Ray West. (First Church of Christ)

Coastal Pregnancy Center provides faith-based counseling and education for pregnant women and assists with unplanned pregnancies. The nonprofit provides baby items for those in need, including diapers, bottles, clothes and car seats. For more information, visit

COASTAL PREGNANCY: Pictured are First Church of Christ staff member Christie Wise, Coastal Pregnancy Center volunteer nurse Manager Jackie Van Essendelft, CPA Executive Director Susie Rollins and First Church staff member Tim Hallstrom. (First Church of Christ)

Purpose of God Annex serves children, youth and adults in Beaufort County in a variety of ways. From after-school and summer programs to youth intervention and adult employment guidance, the nonprofit seeks to foster personal, cultural and spiritual development in the people it serves.

PURPOSE OF GOD: Pictured are First Church of Christ Minister Johnny Pressley, Purpose of God Annex co-Directors Bishop Samuel and Mother Regina Jones and First Church of Christ member Carl Smith Jr. (First Church of Christ)

As a church, Pressley says giving back to those in need is a large part of the church’s responsibility. By incorporating that type of giving into its worship, and the daily lives of its members, Pressley says the congregation can make a big difference.

“If a church just takes care of itself, it becomes more of a community club,” Pressley said. “It really needs to do more than just be something we enjoy going to and what we do together. It’s got to reach out.”