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Bear Donation

December 15, 2015

bearThanks to the efforts of a local civic group, the Kernersville Police Department will be able to comfort a few more children during traumatic situations.
On Wednesday, several members of the Kernersville Triad Ladies Civitan Club gathered in the lobby of police headquarters to present Chief Scott Cunningham, officers with the department and staff with more than a dozen stuffed bears and puppies they made at the Build-A-Bear store at Hanes Mall.
Chief Cunningham was appreciative of the gift. The stuffed bears and puppies will be distributed to officers within the department and will be stored in their patrol vehicles to be given out to children at any number of scenes to which law enforcement responds.
“We’re really thankful for the Civitan Club for helping out like this,” said Cunningham. “These stuffed animals are going to make life a little bit easier for a child.”
Each year, the KPD receives hundreds of donated stuffed animals that are then given to officers to have on hand at situations where children might be in distress. It could be one where a child’s parent is being arrested and placed into custody or an automobile accident. Each incident might be different, but no less traumatic to a child, said Cunningham.
“Stuffed animals like these take a lot of the edge off the incident. They help a child through that incident and also help foster a positive relationship with that officer,” he continued. “These bears will definitely go to great use and are very appreciated.”
The KPD first began collecting stuffed animals for officers to give to children in 1988 after the department was approached by the late Edith Iddings, a Kernersville resident who had collected hundreds of stuffed animals with her friend, Sarah Ballard. Iddings wanted to know if the KPD would be interested in the collection so that every officer could carry one in his or her patrol car as a way to comfort children who might need it.
At the time of her death in 2010, it was estimated that Iddings had donated more than 5,000 stuffed animals over the course of two decades. Today, the KPD still collects stuffed animals for its officer’s patrol vehicles, with hundreds of donations coming in each year.
According to club President Diana Ross, the Kernersville Triad Ladies Civitan Club is a community-based organization that works with area programs through service projects to “better our community.”
Ross was joined at Wednesday’s presentation by club members Hazel Farley, Barbara Craven, Erline Shelton and Linda Fulk.
In addition to the stuffed animals kept within officers’ patrol vehicles, the KPD also operates the Ted E. Bear program, an initiative where officers distribute donated stuffed animals to children in the community, usually at bus stops during the month of December.

70 Year Anniversary

December 15, 2015

anniversaryAfter celebrating their 70th anniversary this month, Kernersville residents Genette and Weldon Clinard still have the same sparkle in their eyes for each other.
Born in Surry County, Genette Bryant Clinard moved to Kernersville, off of Hwy. 66, with her family, including her parents and three brothers, and attended Union Cross and Kernersville schools. Meanwhile, Weldon attended Oakview School, living in High Point with his parents and five brothers and sisters, with one of his brothers being his twin, the late William Clinard.
Developing a friendship in the beginning, Weldon and Genette first met while Genette was selling watermelon at her home.
“My mom and daddy wanted some watermelon sold. I was seventeen at the time,” she said. “Weldon came up on his bicycle to look and see if he wanted some.”
Genette said they ran into each other several more times while she was working at dime stores in both Kernersville and High Point.
“We kept bumping into each other around town,” she recalled. “I was dating someone at the time.”
Weldon shared that their friendship continued to grow even after he was drafted into the Navy during WWII, writing her letters while overseas.
When he returned, Weldon learned that Genette was engaged to be married.
“He walked into my house and sat on the hearth and said, ‘Well, I’d’a married ya,’” Genette recalled, as Weldon shared, without hesitation, that Genette accepted his informal proposal.
“She took off the ring and threw it and said, ‘Okay,’” Weldon said.
Genette and Weldon had secretly loved each other. They both shared what they liked about each other as they reminisced back to those days.
When Genette’s daughter, Annette, asked her mom, “Was it the fact that Daddy was in the Navy that you liked him?” Genette replied, “Oh man, yeah!”
Weldon shared that what he liked about Genette was her “really pretty smile” and red hair.
“She was so sweet,” he said with a big smile.
After being married, Weldon and Genette said they had little money and lived in a stable, with only a small stove for heat.
“They didn’t have a bathroom or anything and would go over to daddy’s mom’s house to eat,” Annette said, as she recalled the stories her parents told her. “Momma didn’t cook in the beginning, but Daddy wanted her to.”
“I finally had to teach myself how to cook,” Genette remarked.
While living in the stable, Weldon first worked at Adams Millis and worked at several other places until he became a truck driver, working for Central Motor Lines for 25 years until he retired.
“He drove with his twin brother,” Genette shared.
After he found a job driving trucks, Genette and Weldon bought a house in Winston-Salem and started a family.
“I was pregnant with Michael, our oldest, when we moved in,” Genette shared.
Weldon and Genette moved back to Kernersville in 1957.
Throughout their marriage, Weldon and Genette said they never really argued, and when they did, it was in private.
Genette said their biggest argument was right after they were married.
“Weldon drove me to my parents’ house and dropped me off, and my daddy drove me back home and told us to work it out,” she said.
A little later in their marriage, Genette said they sat down and talked about what they didn’t like about each other and decided to make a change in themselves to make each other happy.
“Things were great after that,” Weldon remarked.
Annette shared that while her father was gone a lot for work, when they were together, they enjoyed their time as a family, especially on vacations.
“He would get about two weeks’ vacation, and we would go to the beach,” she said. “We would plan to go for a week and we would have so much fun that he would call in and take another week.”
Along with family vacations, Genette and Weldon traveled to Bermuda after winning a trip through ABF. Both Genette and Weldon have been active members of Hillcrest Baptist Church throughout their marriage, with Weldon having ushered for 45 years alongside his twin brother, and Genette having been the president of her Sunday school class.
When asked what has kept their marriage so strong over the years, Genette said, respect, as Annette reiterated those remarks as a witness to their success.
“They had so much respect for each other, and to this day, they both still have that same sparkle,” she said.
Annette said her mom, age 88, and dad, who will be 90 in February, still wink at each other often.
The Clinards had five children: Michael, Annette, David, Jenee’, and Angie.
They have 11 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild due in April.

Carol Hauser Retires

December 15, 2015

carolEnjoy it.
That’s the advice Carol Hauser, support services bureau manager for the Kernersville Police Department (KPD), has for her successor as Hauser closes a four decades-long chapter of her life.
Hauser, who has been a part of the KPD family since 1975, is retiring just shy of her 41st year with the department. Her last day in the office will be Wednesday, Dec. 16.
“Just enjoy it as much as I have,” Hauser said last week as she reflected on a career that was more than just a job for so many years of her life.
Hauser first came to work for the KPD when she was 18-years-old. The local law enforcement agency was a 13-member department at that time and hers was a new secretarial position provided by federal grant money.
She worked as then Chief Grady H. Stockton’s secretary. In October 1976, the job became permanent and Hauser was hired on full-time.
Things were different back then. The police department really didn’t have a records division, and it was Hauser’s responsibility to organize the KPD’s records. Back then, everything was handwritten and Hauser had to type up each and every crime report in triplicate.
“There were 100 tally sheets and someone said, ‘Here, do this,’” Hauser recalled with a laugh just a few short years ago when she was named the KPD’s Civilian Employee of the Year. “I didn’t know what a crime report was.”
Over the years, as the department grew, so did Hauser’s job. Her position became more than just a secretary to the chief. It took on an administrative role that has become one of the most diverse in the KPD, seeing her work under four police chiefs in all.
“It’s always been a diverse position. It’s also one of the hardest to answer when someone asks, ‘What do you do,’” she said in that same interview.
Hauser will leave the KPD this month as the Town’s longest serving employee, but she knows the department is in good hands. Natalie McGhee will move into Hauser’s position and Hauser has no doubt that the transition will go smoothly.
“This department has a wonderful future ahead of it,” Hauser said.
How long had Hauser been considering retirement? She could have retired after 30 years, she said, but wondered then what she would do to fill her days. That’s not the case anymore. Now it’s time.
“I’ve always been told, ‘You’ll know when it’s time,’” Hauser said. “I am at the place in my life where I want to have an opportunity for me. This will be my time.”
Hauser plans to spend more time doing things she enjoys most. That includes working in and around her house on projects she never had time to start before, working outside in the garden and spending time with her three grandchildren, one of whom lives here in Kernersville and the other two in Roanoke.
“Life is about your family and your friends and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to have the freedom to move,” she continued.
As much as Hauser is looking forward to embarking on a new journey, she is proud of her time at the KPD.
“It was such a great opportunity working here as far as the personal and professional growth, the trust and support I received from my bosses and the Town, and just to be able to grow with the department,” Hauser said of what is now an 89-employee agency. “I feel like I have been such a huge part of watching this department grow. I was blessed to be part of a high-energy and efficient team over the years.”
What will Hauser miss the most?
“I am going to miss the laughter and the hilarious conversations I’ve had with my coworkers over the years,” Hauser smiled. “It’s a family. It makes the severity of what we do more bearable. It’s been fun and I have cherished memories.”

Wagging Wednesdays

December 15, 2015

dogVisitors, patients, and staff at Novant Health Kernersville Medical Center (KMC) will now have the chance to feel more comfort when greeted by a four-legged friend on Wednesday afternoons.
On Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – 12 noon, with their first day having been last week, volunteer Jerry Grubbs and his therapy dog, Rusty, a six-year-old golden retriever, will have the chance to help visitors, patients, and staff feel a sense of comfort and calm as they walk into the hospital, wait in the lobby to see a doctor, or be visited in their own room.
According to Susan Parks, manager of volunteer services with Novant Health, PMC (Presbyterian Medical Center), PMC has been doing pet therapy for over 20 years, but they are starting the Pet Greeter program across all of the Novant Health hospitals.
“Pet therapy volunteers provide visitation for patients, guests and Novant Health team members on patient floors, in patient rooms and various departments throughout the hospital,” said Parks.
Parks shared that they got the idea from the Cleveland Clinic.
“Because of our affiliation/partnership with the Cleveland Clinic, several of our leaders visited the clinic. They learned of a pet greet program having dogs as greeters stationed in their lobby and loved it. It is in alignment with our vision of creating a remarkable patient and guest experience,” she said. “We recognize that not all guests are animal lovers so we have our greeters stationed in areas that allow folks not wanting to pet or engage with the dog to walk around him/her.”
Grubbs shared that Rusty has been a therapy dog for four-and-a-half years, having gotten his certification just before he turned two-years-old.
Grubbs decided to turn Rusty into a therapy dog having seen how helpful they can be to patients in hospitals.
“My wife’s father was in the hospital and he got a visit from a therapy dog. He talked about that until he passed away, and I thought it would be a good thing to do,” he said.
Having had a Golden Retriever/Collie mix, named Junior, previous to getting Rusty, Grubbs knew they were great dogs and decided to get another Golden Retriever, though Rusty is full bred. Junior passed away at the age of 18.
“Rusty has a good personality and is a great dog, so coming up to getting him, we thought it would be good to do (therapy dog training) with him,” Grubbs shared, noting that he has always enjoyed volunteering to help people. “We just enjoy doing this with the dogs and meeting people.”
Grubbs noted that he retired as a district fire chief and now volunteers at Beeson’s Volunteer Fire Department.
Grubbs and Rusty aren’t new to visiting hospitals as they visit two other hospitals throughout the month, giving others their time and offering comfort.
As a therapy dog, Rusty does several things.
“He goes around and greets people in the lobby and people can come up and meet him,” he said.
Grubbs explained that when visiting with children, who are often in need or want of exercising some energy, Rusty will play ball or play hide-and-seek with a toy or ball.
“If they can’t get up or aren’t mobile, he will visit with them,” he stated. “We put a sheet down, and he can jump up in the bed with someone or sit up and they can pet him.”
Grubbs shared one story of a young boy who had a broken neck that wasn’t able to move much and so, as to not cause further harm, Rusty sat in a chair next to the bed and put his paws and head on the boy’s bed so that he could pet him.
Grubbs noted that Rusty is certified through Therapy Dog International (TDI) and shared that in order to get certified, he had to undergo several months of training and take a test that included 17 stations, twice since both he and his wife are handlers.
“He has to be trained to go up to all types of people and equipment. He is trained not to eat off of the floor and to ignore food, and he is trained not to lick those that do not want to be licked and because people in hospitals often have IVs,” he said. “He has to behave and be polite when visiting somebody’s room.”
Grubbs laughed as he shared that one thing that Rusty really enjoys is being petted.
“He will go from one person to the other and it doesn’t matter who you are, he just loves to be petted,” he said.
Through their volunteer work, Grubbs shared that they have met a lot of people.
“It’s a good way to meet people. There are a lot of good stories that we come across, and from time-to-time you really know you have made someone’s day,” he said. “It’s kind of a hobby that we enjoy doing. I wish we could do it more, but there are only so many hours in the day.”
Parks noted the many benefits therapy dogs offer to patients.
“Dogs have forever been called, ‘man’s best friend,’ providing companionship to people in need. In hospitals, they provide moments of companionship, joy, comfort, distraction, and they are soothing to patients. But they are not just a benefit to patients. They are also a benefit to family members and staff at all levels, from our doctors and surgeons on down.”
Parks noted that the pet therapy volunteers visit many different areas of the hospital.
Parks urges anyone interested in being a volunteer with their therapy dog, to contact Novant Health.
“Just call the Volunteer Services Department here at Presbyterian Medical Center or any Novant Health hospital for more information,” she said. “Therapy dogs are in many places, like public libraries and schools, but being in the hospital is the most demanding place for dogs (hence the special training here). Some dogs can’t handle the smells, the noises, the elevators. It takes a special dog to be a TDI dog. It takes a remarkable dog to be a hospital pet therapy dog.”
Rusty and Grubbs are at Novant Health KMC on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
For more information, contact Novant Health KMC at (336) 564-4000 or visit www.novanthealth.org.

Rabbit Hopping

November 25, 2015

bunnyA sport called rabbit hopping has long been popular in Scandinavia, originating in the 1970s. Now, decades later, the rest of the world is catching on. For the first time, this year’s N.C. State Fair featured a competitive rabbit hopping event. The five velvety, long-eared animals of various breeds competed against one another, wowing crowds with their agility and jumping abilities.
Paige Smith, a Kernersville teen, knows a bit about this up and coming sport. Smith, a 19-year-old certified nursing assistant, rabbit breeder/trainer and co-owner of Narrow Gate Farm, won first place in 2014 with her Rhinelander bunny “Hybusa” at the American Rabbit Breeders Association hopping contest.
“Paige has been involved with rabbits at the youth level since she was about six-years-old. She has been involved in all aspects – the raising of the rabbits, the showing of the rabbits and handled the organization of everything as well,” noted Brenda Smith, co-owner of Narrow Gate Farm. Brenda, Paige’s mother, is also president of the N.C. Rabbit Breeders Association.
When asked where her love of rabbits came from, Paige recalled, “When I was about five-years-old I rode horses and loved riding all the time, but I kept getting injured. I remember my family taking me to the Dixie Classic Fair. My sister (Kylee) and I started talking to the rabbits in the Expo area and immediately fell in love with them. From there, we kept bugging our parents about adopting a pet rabbit. Our mother agreed to the rabbits on two conditions, if we were going to have rabbits, we would have more than one rabbit that we keep in a cage and we would show them competitively. We got the greenlight from my father to adopt, and we came home that next weekend with six Holland Lops.
Thirteen years later, the farm boasts around 120 rabbits, including Jersey Wollies, Rhinelanders, Flemish Giants and Holland Lops. In general, Holland Lops are the most popular breed, where the Rhinelanders are the most active breed, making the Rhinelander the popular choice for rabbit hopping.
Paige has been involved with rabbit hopping since the fall of 2011.
“I saw someone doing it, and I thought, ‘That is so cool,’” said Paige, who shows and hops rabbits competitively on a regular basis. Soon thereafter, Paige and “Izzu,” her prized Rhinelander, started training. Within three days, he was ready for his first obstacle course.
The roots of rabbit hopping come from Sweden, where the sport began in the 1970s. Rabbit hopping (sometimes called rabbit jumping) is very popular in Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and Germany where competitions can be found about every weekend and may have as many as 200 participants. Since the 1980s, rabbit hopping has slowly been gaining popularity in the U.S.
Rabbit hopping is a novel sport in which rabbits hop over barriers on a course that resembles that of a horseshow event, scaled down for bunnies. The long-eared animals of various breeds are led around by a leash through a gauntlet of 12 jumps.
The activity is a healthy way for rabbits to interact with their owners beyond the confines of the cage, said Paige.
“Owners and rabbits take the competition very seriously. Traditionally, it was a children’s sport, but increasingly adults are getting involved too,” said Paige.
While rabbits are natural-born hoppers, hopping over barriers around a course surrounded by spectators takes training and a lot of practice, say the sport’s proponents.
The first step, Paige said, is to get the rabbits comfortable wearing a harness and walking on a variety of surfaces. Once a rabbit gets used to the harness, the jumps are introduced.
Common mistakes of the novice rabbit hopper are trying to get the rabbit to jump before it is comfortable running in the harness and getting in front of the rabbit instead of allowing it to take the lead. By the time a competition rolls around, a well-trained rabbit is ready for action.
Rabbit hoppers stress that just about any rabbit will do when it comes to selecting a bunny for competitive jumping, but certain breeds make better hoppers than others. According to Paige, “Any rabbit that enjoys jumping can compete in the rabbit hopping competition.”
The sport, they say, is more about the fun of the experience for the rabbits and the owners than winning a trophy.
“We look for rabbits that are highly social and also enjoy agility,” said Paige. The rabbits aren’t motivated by treats to jump over hurdles, so they must naturally be interested in taking part. “Owners can help to gently coax them along the course by softly patting them with their hand. People who use force like kicking are immediately disqualified.”
While the sport may seem taxing on the little animals, rabbit hoppers will be quick to point out that not only are rabbits naturally adept at these sorts of skills, they also thoroughly enjoy them. In fact, most are naturals.
“We do train our own rabbits, but the rabbits really do their own training,” said Paige. A rabbit’s instinctive tendency is to run in zig-zags, attempting to confuse any predators. The rabbits will learn by example, however, eventually becoming excited enough to get out on the course.
As far as the joy of rabbit hopping, the owners seem to enjoy it as much as the rabbits themselves. “It’s lots of fun. I get to spend time with my rabbits and they get plenty of exercise, when they are not being stubborn,” said Paige. “This is a sport where the more you do it, the better your rabbit will respond.”
Paige said while training rabbits for competition, the focus should always be on the safety and happiness of the rabbit. She said a trainer first needs to have a rabbit that is energetic and naturally wants to hop.
“This is like a brand new sport. It came to the United States in the 80s, but it has suddenly gained more and more momentum. There are not many nationally sanctioned rabbit jumping events, and competitions are mostly organized by independent groups and private rabbit owners. However, streamlined national regulations for the sport are being developed by the American Hopping Association for Rabbits and Cavies, an organization chartered by the American Rabbit Breeders Association,” added Brenda.
Rabbit hopping is fun for children and grown-ups alike. Who says horses should have all the fun?

Relay for Life Award

November 25, 2015

teacherThe American Cancer Society gave Kernersville Elementary School (KES) Data Manager Kathy Amrich an Appreciation Award for being an Outstanding Volunteer after the school raised $6,750.84 this year during Relay for Life.
“This year, we were the first place fundraising team in Kernersville and our team got an award for ‘Pack the Track.’ That means Kernersville Elementary had the most team members on the track at the end of the event,” Amrich said.
To date, KES has raised over $100,000 to bring awareness to the different cancers and to raise funds to fight the battle against cancer.
“We’ve had so many folks here that have had so many different kinds of cancer,” Amrich remarked.
Amrich noted that they are gearing up for another year of participating in Relay for Life.
“A letter was sent out to parents on Friday, November 6 to let them know about our kickoff fundraiser for kids,” she said. “We usually raise roughly $2,000. This year’s theme is ‘More Happily Ever Afters.’”
During the student kickoff, which started on November 9, the school sold smiley faces for $0.25. The homeroom that sold the most smileys will be awarded with a treat party.
Amrich said they had a bake sale during the school’s annual Fall Carnival to raise money for the Relay for Life kickoff.
“We raised over $200,” she said.

Riding the GAP

November 25, 2015

fallingwaterAfter having completed the C and O (Chesapeake and Ohio) Trail in 2011, Wade Hampton and his daughter, Kate, decided to complete the second part of the trail, known as the GAP.
The GAP (Great Alleghany Passage), which runs from Cumberland, Maryland to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a 150-mile rail-to-trail conversion with several trail towns along the route. The C and O Trail is 185 miles and runs from Cumberland, Maryland to Washington, D.C. Both trails together equal 335 miles.
“When we finished the C and O, we knew we wanted to bike the GAP,” Hampton said. “We’d done things like the Virginia Creeper Trail, which is (roughly) 20 miles, and the New River Trail several times and we enjoyed riding in nature and being out in the woods.”
To train for the 150-mile bike ride, Hampton said he rode his bike around Salem Lake and the Salem Creek Greenway off of Salem Lake and by participating in Bike MS: Tour to Tanglewood.
“Kate lives in Washington, D.C. and she used the bike share program to train,” he said. “I rode a Trek hybrid and Kate used a mountain bike. They both worked well. The rail-to-trail was mostly hard packed gravel, while the toe path on the C and O was muddy with rocks and gravel at times.”
Hampton said there are a lot of supporting materials for both trails, including books and maps, as well as other information that tell how long the ride will be, what to bring and where to stay.
Hampton explained that he and Kate were on the GAP trail this year during the second week in October, which allowed them to see some great fall color. They spent four days and three nights on the trail, staying at bed and breakfasts (B&B) along the way.
“My wife and mother-in-law would follow us along and meet us at each B&B. The first night we stayed in Cumberland at The Inn on Decatur. Small trail towns like this have really started to cater to hikers and cyclists,” he said, noting they hiked between 30 – 40 miles each day.”
Each day, Kate and Wade took time to stop and see the many sights along the way.
“Both trails have a lot of historical aspects, so there was a lot to see and do,” he said. “On the C and O, we saw the Antietam National Battlefield, Harpers Ferry, where we stayed in a lockhouse one night. On the GAP, we saw Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater (house), built in the 1930s. It was amazingly modern looking. We went over the Mason-Dixon Line and went through a number of tunnels and trestles. One was 3,700 feet long. In Ohiopyle State Park, there were a lot of natural things with lots of kayaking, canoeing and camping in the area.”
Hampton said while they met people along the way, they also had times of solitude.
“There is a lot of solitude on the trail. You can go miles without seeing anyone, and then it can be crowded (on the greenways) in cities,” he said. “We talked to a couple that was on their second thru ride and another couple that had biked quite a bit. They told us about Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, South Carolina. Learning about other trails from riders is always fun.”
Hampton said while a majority of the trail was fairly easy, the first day was a little challenging.
“It was raining on the first day and that’s when we did most of the climbing, but the rest of the time was fairly easy. Having a good pair of bike shorts is important,” he shared.
Hampton said his most memorable moments were crossing the Continental Divide and riding beside the rivers for miles.
“We saw a lot of trout fishermen and a lot of natural beauty,” he said.
Hampton is a member of the Kernersville Cycling Club and was a member of the Pedestrian and Bicycling Committee for the Town of Kernersville before the cycling club was formed.
“I have been cycling all of my life, but I have been seriously cycling for 20 years,” he said.
Hampton enjoys cycling for many reasons.
“It’s easy on the knees and you can see more territory (than on foot),” he said.

Oaklawn Baptist Pastor

November 25, 2015

pastorHaving wanted to be a pastor since he was a young boy, Jay Boyce’s dreams have been fulfilled as he takes over as lead pastor at Oaklawn Baptist Church.
Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Boyce attended Lake City Baptist Tabernacle, where he developed his interest in becoming a pastor.
“It’s all I have really ever wanted to do,” he said. “I think my mom even has cassette tapes of me preaching when I was young.”
After high school, Boyce attended Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Florida, where he met his wife, Samantha Swift Boyce. There, he also took courses in church ministries and music, concentrating more on vocal training. Boyce graduated from Trinity Baptist College in 1995.
“My wife is a Kernersville native, so that is how we ended up back here in Kernersville,” he said.
The Boyces have two sons, Grady and Judah, who both attend Triad Baptist Christian Academy.
Boyce found his first position in the ministry at Tabernacle Christian School, a Christian school in Alabama. After that, they moved to Kernersville, where Boyce worked in a secular job for six years and attended Gospel Light Baptist Church and got involved with the youth ministry.
“My first full-time church job was in 2001 at Trinity Baptist Church in Asheville,” he said, noting they were there until 2009 before moving back to Kernersville. “I was the college and career pastor and the music minister there.”
Once they moved back to Kernersville, Boyce was hired to work at Oaklawn Baptist Church as the worship pastor (music minister), and in 2011 he took over as the youth pastor as well.
“In July of this year, I took over as the lead pastor,” he said noting that he continues to lead the music ministry. “When people come here, they’ll see that I wear two hats, but while I am thankful for the gift of music, pastoring has always been my first love.”
Boyce said one of the things he enjoys most about being a pastor is visiting with people.
“I love the people, which is important for a pastor’s role. I also enjoy doing pastoral care and visiting people. Our challenge here is that we want to reach people with the Gospel and be known as the church that loves and cares for people,” he said. “This area is becoming diverse and that’s also what I want us to be. I want us to care for all people and I want our congregation to be diverse.”
Boyce said within the church there are several groups and ministries, but their main goal is to preach.
“We want to preach Christ to the world and be known as the church that cares and loves people. That is very important to me,” he remarked.
When it comes to his style of preaching, Boyce said he has been told he is very animated.
“I preach expositional, explaining the scripture verse by verse,” he said. “It’s not about opinions and I don’t get into politics from the pulpit. I just keep it biblical, preaching truth and love.”
Boyce noted that of the ministries at Oaklawn Baptist Church, there are three fairly new ministries, including their mobile soup kitchen, clothing closet, and food pantry.
Boyce said they held their first mobile soup kitchen recently by taking food to downtown Winston-Salem on the corner of Northwest Boulevard and Patterson Avenue, where they fed about 100 people.
“Whoever came by, we fed them. There were several people who were homeless that came by and we fed them and prayed with them,” he said. “We fed so many people that we ran out of food. We are doing another mobile soup kitchen on December 5.”
As for their food pantry, they will be holding their second one today from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
“We basically fill 30 – 40 bags of groceries that will feed a family for three to four days,” Boyce said. “Last month was our first time doing this and it was a great success.”
He said they are still in the process of getting the clothing closet together and are still collecting items.
“We are still in the process of getting that rolling, but we would like to provide coats for kids and things like that,” he said. “We have a mission team that has been community driven to help families in need.”
Oaklawn Baptist Church is located at 3500 Kernersville Road. For more information, visit www.obcyes.com.

New Pastor

November 5, 2015

pastorProvidence Baptist Church will install their new pastor, Minister Keith Vereen, on Saturday, November 7 at noon.
Vereen, originally from Fayetteville, grew up attending Parks Chapel Freewill Baptist Church, hearing the call to minister in his early teens.
“I probably started feeling the call around 13 or 14-years-old, but I actually ran away from it. I didn’t want to accept it,” he said. “I decided to accept it in 2011. God came to me, and basically it was a divine appointment from Him. He had allowed me to do my own thing through freewill, but now was the time and He was not going to accept no for an answer.”
Before accepting the call, Vereen served in the Army from 1986-1995 at Fort Bragg in the Airborne Division. Having to retire early due to an accident in 1992, he went to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to earn a degree in social work. From there, he worked with the homeless at The Bethesda Center.
“I was hoping that would suffice with God, but that wasn’t enough for Him,” Vereen said. “When I heard God’s voice again, I said, ‘I need to go to school to learn what it means to serve God and learn more about the Word of God so I would know more about what I was sharing with God’s sheep.’”
Before Vereen declared ministry, he enrolled in Carolina Christian College in Winston-Salem, where he earned a Master of Arts of Religious Education with a concentration in Christian Education. He is currently working on his Doctorate of Divinity.
While working at The Bethesda Center, Vereen said it allowed him to share the Gospel.
“I was allowed to share the Word of God with my clients, but I actually left The Bethesda Center to attend law school at Wake Forest. That’s when I started hearing the calling from God that this was not the path for me,” he shared.
Though the position at Providence Baptist Church is his first appointment, Vereen is excited as he will be ministering to a congregation he has been part of for several years.
After he and his wife, Yolanda, transferred to the area, they stumbled upon the church, which was in their backyard.
“One Sunday I had my children (two sons, Jonathan and Jordan) at the park, and I saw people leaving the church. I heard a voice telling me that I needed to attend there,” he said, noting he began attending in 1998 and officially joined in 2000. “I was serving as the Administrative Board president. When the previous pastor resigned, I filled in as interim pastor and will be taking over in full effect on November 7.”
Vereen noted that he was not a shoo-in, as 27 people applied for the position.
He shared that he is looking forward to leading the church.
“I am just looking forward to continuing to do God’s Will and exactly what He tells me to do,” he said.
He added that he would like for the church to be more in tune with the needs of the community and to serve as a light where they are located.
“I would also like to continue to make disciples and teach people about the Word of God,” he remarked.
Vereen said he has seen the power of God firsthand through his own battles.
“One of my greatest challenges has been battling cancer and seeing the way God delivered me from that. I was also in an accident in 1992, which is why I retired early from the military. I spent 18 months in the hospital and have had 27 surgeries. When I was in the hospital, it gave me time with God one-on-one, which clarified what He wanted as well,” Vereen explained. “Having seen the power of God firsthand has helped me to remain humble. I can accomplish all things through Him.”
Providence Baptist Church is located at 319 Nelson St. For more information, call 336-996-6284 or visit www.providencebcknc.org/.

November 5, 2015

serveEarlier this month, members of The Summit Church and numerous other churches took part in The Big Serve, an annual event where church members volunteer to help organizations in the community over a weeklong period.
Amy Loflin, The Big Serve coordinator for The Summit Church at the Oak Ridge location, explained that The Big Serve ran from October 3-11, but continued out further because of rainy weather this year.
“We typically focus it to be a really strong blitz throughout our community in a short amount of time,” she said.
Loflin added that they had roughly 60 projects around the community this year, with close to 1,000 volunteer slots that were filled between The Summit’s Kernersville and Oak Ridge locations.
“Volunteers sign up on thebigserve.net to send in project requests, but we also send cards out to projects we did the previous year and ask them to dream big. Maybe they didn’t get the funds to accomplish them and we try to fulfill that,” she said. “We are always looking for new projects as well.”
Loflin shared that while there are many volunteer slots to fill, they set the website up to help people find a project they can enjoy.
“We try to filter the projects by category – beautification, construction, helping hands and landscaping,” she said. “The people we help typically have to be non-profits. Some of the organizations are able to provide their own materials, but if not, we help supplement that through our Big Serve budget.”
Loflin said the purpose of The Big Serve is to not only help people, but to create a buzz in the community to get people interested in what is going on and to get people involved in helping others.
“It’s an easy opportunity to give people a taste of serving in a project that is hopefully near and dear to their heart. It’s a first step. We don’t want them to just serve with The Big Serve. We want them to have God in their hearts and hopefully connect with the organization they are working with and come back and help there again,” she said.
Several volunteers shared what they did during The Big Serve and what they enjoyed about volunteering.
Rodney Nail, project leader at Oak Ridge Elementary School (ORES), said he has been leading the project for three years.
“Since Oak Ridge Elementary School is our satellite location for The Summit in Oak Ridge, it’s vital that we continue our tremendous partnership with them. The administrators and staff are so appreciative every year when they arrive on campus after our Big Serve weekend,” he said. “We do outdoor beautification every year with new mulch, trees and hedges trimmed, and anything else on the staff’s wish list.”
Nail said this year, in addition to the outdoor projects, a team painted the bottom portion of the walls in the school’s hallways.
Nail added that The Big Serve is just a small gesture of gratitude they give back to the school and community as a way of demonstrating the love of Christ.
“Christ was a servant to mankind and gave His life for us. The least we can do is serve our fellow man and our local community,” he shared.
Nikki Honeycutt said this is the third time she and her family have participated in The Big Serve.
“We love it,” she remarked. “I used to hear people say we are Jesus’ hands and feet, and I always thought that was odd sounding. After doing The Big Serve, I get it. Loving people right where they are at, no matter what, everyone wants to be loved.”
Honeycutt shared that she works with juniors and seniors.
“My girls went with me to Lot 2540 in Madison. They get their name from the Bible in Matthew 25:40, ‘The least of these,’” she said. “They restore old things and they restore lives. We washed produce for the open market, where they allowed people to come through and get a variety of food for anyone in need.”
Honeycutt said at one point, she served an older gentleman who appeared to have no one and nothing.
“He just wanted someone to talk to and to listen,” she shared. “I just wanted to take him home with me and show him there is someone who loves him no matter what his circumstances or his life choices have been. It was awesome to see my teenagers love these people by cooking lunch for them and just serving them. I am planning on taking my family back in December so we can do this again.”
Honeycutt said she has learned that you don’t have to be talented to help others.
“The greatest thing I have learned through The Big Serve is anyone can do it. You don’t have to be super talented or gifted; you just have to be willing to love people,” she said.
One of the recipients of The Big Serve, who is continuing to benefit, is The North Carolina Leadership Academy (NCLA). Renee Faenza, principal of The NCLA, said she is thankful to have help from The Summit.
“It’s unusual to find a place that practices what they preach. I’m Catholic, and we’re a good church too, but it’s like these people have taken service to a whole other level,” she said. “Their theme is making everybody feel welcome and like they are somebody.”
In one of their ways of giving, The Summit has offered space for The NCLA students as they are already starting to outgrow their school and are waiting for a modular building to be built.
“They have wanted to make the children feel welcome, so they bought all 126 children and teachers lunch one Friday,” she said. “On the first day of school, they provided coffee and refreshments for our parents, and every Friday, they have to tear down the kids’ stuff and prepare for church and then set it back up for the kids.”
Faenza said volunteers from The Summit have also done some beautification around the school.
“They’ll offer their volunteers to come over. They have planted trees, helped us build a playground – offering their labor, and just being good to their neighbor,” she said.
Faenza said students at The NCLA are making cards and are in the process of creating their own version of The Big Serve. They plan to make lunch for the volunteers and members.
Loflin said what she enjoys about The Big Serve is seeing everyone come together.
“I just like seeing everyone coming together with a positive attitude and carving time out of their Saturday to help others and to see how much fun we can have coming together as the church, and not just The Summit, but being Christians and making a big impact,” she shared.
For more information about The Big Serve, visit www.thebigserve.net.