Throughout the year, we have several organizations willing to help in any way that they can, but this particular group traveled all the way from Ohio to make a difference in our community. Second Shift Community Fellowship started in 2005 as a Saturday evening worship opportunity for individuals who were unable to make it to their own church for Sunday morning service. In 2012, Second Shift Community Fellowship added a youth outreach arm to their ministry. Youth ministry was something that Pastor Phil Bartholomew, creator of Second Shift Community Fellowship, and his wife Cathy, were called to do many years ago.
“After learning that our hometown’s churches didn’t have weekly meetings for the youth, we created an opportunity for teens to come together from multiple churches and some from no church background at all,” said Phil. The youth that Phil began to work with were facing many challenges. They were facing issues such as social awkwardness, emotional uncertainty, low self-esteem, and deep financial struggles.
“For this group, I felt led to focus on faith-based character and leadership development that includes practical, positive community impact,” said Phil. They called this group LYFT, which stands for Leading Youth Following Truth. “I try to impress that each should grab and develop the leadership qualities that God has placed in each of them, but they can only become positive leaders by committing to becoming close followers of Christ,” said Phil.
Second Shift Community Fellowship takes pride in building the whole person. On the first Sunday evening of the month, they dig deeper in a practical teen-impacting devotional. On the second, the youth group goes on a fun outing. On the third, they invite an adult to come in for life-tips. In the past, they have had speakers on place settings at a fine dinner, how to respond when you get pulled over by a Highway Patrol Officer, how to get started planning for your financial future, self-defense by a black belt, a CPR class by a certified nurse/instructor and many more. On the fourth Sunday, they impact the community by painting over graffiti, cleaning up trash in town, raking leaves, shoveling snow for shut-ins, holding doors for patrons at some stores in town and even hosting a free “prom” for local seniors with pie, coffee, corsages and flashback dance music. They have also built three handicap ramps for locals in need.
“As fun as it is to take care of the folks we rub shoulders with, we like to venture out in the summer to lands where we may not otherwise visit while we’re young. We try to cross lots of bridges; age, skin tone, language, faith, background, social/economic class bridges. I think it’s best to be exposed to the different so we can see for ourselves as we make our best effort to see other human beings through the eyes of their Creator rather than the masses,” said Phil. To do this, they plan out-of-state mission trips. LYFT has visited various states, but Phil and Cathy I fell in love with Coastal Carolina in 1985 during their honeymoon in Myrtle Beach.
Second Shift Community Fellowship is in a unique position with no property and no payroll. This allows them to redirect funds from kind hearts to suffering siblings, as Phil explained. “Our goal is to help those who make whatever effort they can, and then pray for help. More than anything else, we want to be part of someone’s answer to prayer. We want a legitimate need to be met and we want to be faithful with the funds with which we’ve been entrusted and we want God getting all the credit,” said Phil.
When thinking of where they could possibly go on their next LYFT mission trip,
Phil said, “what we really need to do is find someone who actually walks up onto someone’s porch and looks them in the eye like, and then it struck me Meals on Wheels.”
Recipient services manager, Rachel, answered Phil’s call and had a list of needs his group could help with. “It was like God sent in back-up just when I needed some encouragement,” said Phil. That’s how a group from Ohio ended up in our neighborhood and we couldn’t be more thankful.
While LYFT was here, they assisted two East Cooper Meals on Wheels recipients with handicap ramps, all while being in the area that is so near and dear to Phil and Cathy. Georgetta’s handicap ramp had several rotting boards that LYFT was able to replace for her. LYFT also rebuilt her back porch for her, which was also rotting. Albert’s front steps were rotten and he was missing siding on his house. LYFT not only enjoyed completing much-needed repairs for Georgetta and Albert, they also enjoyed speaking with them and learning more about their lives.