Visit our Current needs page to learn about special outreach projects and ways to serve inside our church to help with worship services and programs!
St. John is committed to giving back to our community and world. We have several local and international missions that we support with our time and money.
St. John UMC Outreach 2017
Kimberly Blanchard, Outreach Committee Chair
-The Mead House of St. John UMC 430-432 8th St., Augusta, Ga 30901 Article on the beginning of the Mead House
Our building houses these three ministries*:
*Downtown Cooperative Church Ministries
DCCM is a joint effort of local churches (originally primarily downtown churches) that operates a food pantry out of the first floor of the St. John Mead House.
DCCM is categorized as a super pantry, distributing nearly 100 tons of food to clients every year. Over 1200 families each month rely on DCCM for sustenance.
DCCM distributes bags of nutritious food to individuals that meet income guidelines. They strive to supply a diverse array of items that their clients would be proud to feed their family. It’s their hope that everyone as access to nutritious food regardless of their ability to pay.
DCCM also offers “Snack Packs” to homeless clients. Snack packs are ready-to-eat, prepackaged foods that do not require cooking equipment. Snack packs enable homeless clients to eat when the soup kitchens and shelters are closed.
Most area pantries operate as an Emergency Pantry, limiting the number of times an individual may receive food to a few times per year. Because the majority of DCCM’s clients are on a fixed income and face chronic food insecurity, they allow individuals to receive food several times each month if needed.
*St. Vincent De Paul Health Clinic
Housed at St. John’s Mead House. A free health clinic with full services for the homeless and uninsured.
St. Vincent de Paul Health Center provides health care to people who are having problems using other sources of health care. Most are not insured; many are homeless or live in unstable situations.
*The Mead House Clothes Closet
The Clothes Closet is located on the second floor of the St. John Mead House near the corner of 8th and Telfair Streets. There are selections of free clothes and clothes for purchase. Clothes that are offered for purchase are $2 per garment for adults and $1 per garment for children. A recent informal traffic study suggests we are serving over 1,000 needy people a year.
The clothes closet is in constant need of new or gently used clothing and shoes. Donations may be brought to the church during office hours or directly to the clothes closet during their open hours.
-Master’s Table Soup Kitchen
The Master’s Table is Golden Harvest Food Bank’s soup kitchen in Downtown Augusta. It was started during the 1982 recession as one of the Food Bank’s very first direct-service programs and, thanks to the kindness and support of our community, has grown to feed a noon meal to more than 325 homeless and hungry persons per day, 365 days per year.
St. John provides volunteers once a quarter to prepare and serve the meal. Contact the church office to volunteer.
-Augusta Rescue Mission
Since 1965, the Augusta Rescue Mission has had a tireless commitment to breaking the cycle of homelessness by creating a safe and healing environment for homeless men. More than just a shelter and soup kitchen, the Mission offers the means for men’s lives to change, arming them with the understanding and wisdom for sound decision-making, as well as with life skills.
Hope House, Inc. is a residential treatment facility that serves women 18 years and older who suffer from the disease of substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders. Hope House serves three populations of women: homeless single women, pregnant women, and women with children, many who are seeking to regain custody of their children.
The main purpose of Hope House is to break the cycles of addiction and poverty in both women and children. Breaking the cycles in women involves teaching them how to become self- sufficient by managing and overcoming barriers that have kept them from being able to provide for themselves and for their families.
Hope House uses the medical model for treatment of the disease of addiction. All residents are evaluated by a psychiatrist, screened for medical conditions, and attend counseling sessions and classes. Such holistic treatment also includes the needs of the minor children and sessions with extended family members. Additionally, residents are given the opportunity to gain life skills, coping skills, education, job training, parenting and more. Providing housing as well as treatment has been shown to be more effective than treatment alone.
-Heritage Christian Academy
In 2000, a small group of people began to dream about starting an inner city Christian school for the children who need it the most and whose parents could afford it the least. They discovered that the children in urban Augusta were not unlike the children in all urban school districts in America, living in poverty (1 in 3) and undereducated. The schools in the district were some of the worst in the state. Recognizing that ndereducation and social counterproductivity are as closely correlated as smoking and lung cancer, they set about doing the research and raising the money to start a school with an intentional mission to the children from low-income families.
The school opened in 2001 with 10 students. Five years later there were 60 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. In the tenth year, 2010, there were 145 students, and in 2015-16 there were over 210 in K-8!
Heritage Academy creates a culture of learning with high expectations for academic, character and spiritual development. The curriculum is rigorous. Children may participate in a Suzuki violin program at no cost. All students participate in the weekly chapel program and the students have consistently out- performed both national and county averages on standardized tests.
-St. Stephens Ministries
St. Stephen’s Ministry of Augusta, Inc. is an organization dedicated to providing housing for persons with HIV/AIDS who are low income or homeless. The mission of this program is to facilitate independence, dignity and well being through safe, affordable, and appropriate housing. In addition, St. Stephens Ministries provides services to homeless and low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS and the affected persons in their lives.
-New Bethlehem Community Center
New Bethlehem Community Center is a non-profit, community based organization that provides educational services and various programs for the entire family, children, senior adults, and at-risk people in Augusta.
Bethlehem Community Center began in 1911 when a young Deaconess from Alabama was appointed by the WomenÕs Missionary Council of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South to begin a social settlement for black people in Augusta, Georgia. Augusta was selected because the Methodist Church had established Paine College to which the Missionary Council was already contributing funds. Early programs and services
included kindergarten, Girl’s and Boy’s Clubs, Mother’s Club, Sunday School, first public gymnasium for Blacks in Augusta, first supervised playground for Black children, Augusta’s first Vacation Bible School, sewing clinic for girls, well-baby Clinic, first black Boy Scout Troop in the United States (the famous Troop 42), first black Girl Scouts Troop in Augusta and Golden Age Club for the elderly. Local historians have commented that prior to integration, Bethlehem Community Center was the only location in the city that served the needs of the entire black community. After 1954 and throughout the 1980s, other programs were established to include weaving classes, sewing classes, athletic programs, Brownies, camping, game rooms, piano lessons, library study, Annual Goodwill Christmas Program, Head Start, Summer Feed-A-Kid, Child Development Center, Young Gents Club, after school tutoring, and infant and toddler programs.
A non-profit halfway house for men challenged with substance abuse.
The Hale House Foundation Inc. is a transitional program to assist men over the age of 18 with substance abuse problems to recover in a safe halfway house setting until they are ready to assume responsibility by readjusting to society and resume independent living.
The Hale House offers programs without restrictions on the length of stay to accommodate individual recovery. It holds to a strict zero tolerance policy for alcohol or drug use as well as any unwillingness to cooperate with foundation rules beneficial to the entire recovering community.
-Eagles Perch at Mercy Ministries
Eagles Perch seeks to provide a safe, temporary place for women seeking in-house treatment for drug and alcohol addiction to reside while waiting for an opening at an area facility offering those services. They are introduced to a 12-step program like AA or NA, provided with food, clothing, a bed, and other personal needs. The women are encouraged to attend meetings, get sponsors and be part of a clean, recovery-oriented household. Many of the women work part-time in the Mercy Ministries office, help with the food drive, or work at the Thrift Shop.
Eagles Perch receives no federal or state money, but is sponsored by donations from individuals and organizations across the area.
-Wesley Woods/St. John Towers
Wesley Woods operates several comfortable retirement communities throughout North Georgia like St. John Towers next door that emphasize wellness, socialization, education, and personal and spiritual fulfillment making the retirement experience healthy and fulfilling for older adults of all income levels, races, and faiths.
As a not-for-profit provider, Wesley Woods provides affordable residential and healthcare services to older adults. Wesley Woods is different from profit-based retirement communities because they serve people rather than the bottom line.
Wesley Woods Website: http://www.wesleywoods.org
St. John Towers Website: http://www.wesleywoods.org/sjt/augusta-st-john-towers.html
-Jeff Stafford Scholarship for Hale House
The Jeff Stafford Scholarship was established in memory of St. John Member, Jeff Stafford, an early success story at Hale House and a tireless worker at Hale House and St. John during and after recovery. Money in the scholarship fund is dispersed at the pastor’s discretion to help underwrite the cost of entering the Hale House program for needy individuals.
See Hale Foundation above for more information about the program.
Missionaries & World Missions
-Ron & Belinda Tyler, Missionaries to Kenya
Ron is Sr. Vice President of Global Ministries for EE International. He and Belinda spent eight years in Kenya before traveling all over Africa with Evangelism Explosion for several years. Ron was then made Senior Vice President for all of Africa, Europe and Latin America.
-Ronnie & Angi Hopkins, Missionaries to Nicaragua
Ronnie and Angi served in the Red Bird Missionary Conference before joining The Mission Society team. Ronnie was the camp manager and Angi served as a nurse practitioner. They were active on short-term teams to Nicaragua for 10 years before moving there full-time. They work with MEFEL, a group of indigenous evangelical pastors. Ronnie and Angi work in community health and development, as well as host short-term teams for medical/dental outreaches, construction projects, and evangelism.
-The Kenya Project
The mission of The Kenya Project is to provide opportunities for Christians to be in ministry to children of Kenya by providing resources and facilities for their health, education, and spiritual development through:
- Student sponsorships for private and public education
- Health and welfare grants
- Opportunities for Christian mission work in Kenya
- Providing homes for orphans in Kenya