Local Missions

Benevolent Expenditures:   This fund is used at the discretion of pastors for requested assistance.

Bradley Elementary School Ministry:   Beginning its fourth year of service, the “Lunch Buddies Program” is an EPC ministry allowing volunteers to mentor third grade Bradley Elementary School students.   Volunteers have lunch and visit with their “lunch buddies” twice per month, seeking to become positive role models for the students, building relationships and encouraging academic progress. 

CHAMPS-Eastminster:  CHAMPS mission is to nurture, motivate and challenge selected students who have good potential but who otherwise may fall short of their educational potential; to provide promising students with a vision of their future and stimulate them to strive toward post-secondary education.  

Circle of Giving:  An EPC ministry serving children living in shelters allowing them to come to Thompson Hall and “shop” for Christmas presents for their family members.  Donated and purchased gifts are displayed and then wrapped. 

Cooperative Ministry:  TCM is a ministry of the Midlands community created to serve as an instrument of God’s love by providing charitable coordinated assistance to those in need.  Through the support of individuals, congregations, businesses, foundations and grants, TCM provides direct assistance, counseling, prayer and guidance to other community resources.  www.coopmin.org 

Daybreak Pregnancy Crisis Center: The mission of Daybreak is to empower women, men, and families in the Midlands to choose the most positive, healthy, abundant life for themselves and the unborn by providing exceptional care, education, and medical information about sexual health and pregnancy. www.daybreakcola.org

Family Promise of the Midlands:  FPM is a non-profit organization that engages houses of worship to provide shelter, meals and support to homeless families.  Four times a year – for one week at a time – host congregations provide overnight lodging, meals (supper, breakfast, and brown-bag lunch), and hospitality.  Hosting rotates among 13 host congregations which provide lodging for families (up to 14 people) from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m.  Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church is providing space for a day center and offices.  www.familypromisemidlands.org

Family Shelter:  Established in 1999, Family Shelter is a private, non-profit agency located in Columbia.    The primary goal is to help homeless families secure affordable housing and regain independence as a family.  www.columbiafamilyshelter.org/home 

Footcare Ministry:  The Footcare Ministry was organized by EPC to comfort the physical, spiritual, and emotional pain of Columbia’s homeless by providing footcare and instruction on proper foot hygiene in an atmosphere of respect, equality, and Christian love.  New socks and shoes are provided when available.  www.eastminsterpres.org/v2/serve

Free Medical Clinic:  The mission of the Free Medical Clinic is to provide quality healthcare, at no cost, to residents of the community who cannot pay for such services and who do not have health insurance.  Since opening in May 1984, volunteers have been the foundation of the Clinic’s operations.  The staff and volunteers operate six examination rooms, a pharmacy, a small laboratory, a classroom for patient education and meetings, a waiting room and offices.  www.freemedclinic.org 

Gideons International:  Gideons, Intl., is an association of Christian business and professional men and their wives dedicated to telling people about Jesus through sharing personally and by providing Bibles and New Testaments.  Although Gideons are known worldwide for placing Bibles in hotels, they predominantly share scriptures in schools and colleges, prisons and jails, hospitals and medical offices.  www.gideons.org 

Habitat for Humanity:  Habitat for Humanity is a Christian ministry founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller in Americus, GA.  Today, Habitat ranks among the Top 20 Builders in the world.  Central South Carolina (CSC) Habitat for Humanity was established in 1985 with responsibility for Richland and Lexington counties.  www.habitatcsc.org 

Harvest Hope Food Bank:  Begun in 1981 by local citizens as an Emergency Food Box program, Harvest Hope is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to end local hunger.  Now located at 2220 Shop Road in Columbia, Harvest Hope assists families in 20 counties in Central South Carolina.  Their mission is “to provide for the needs of hungry people by gathering and sharing quality food with dignity, compassion and education.”  www.harvesthope.org 

Jubilee Academy:  Jubilee Academy is a faith-based organization working to turn the hearts and lives of inner-city children, youth and families towards Christ and academic excellence.  Jubilee Academy was organized in 2007 by Sandee Hensley through Heartworks Ministry, Inc., and the curriculum is based on the Montessori Method.  www.jubileeacademysc.org 

Law Enforcement Chaplaincy:  South Carolina Law Enforcement Assistance Program and Chaplaincy Service (SCLEAP) is an inter-agency effort to support law enforcement officers, administrative staff, and their families.  Proposed in 1994 by then-SLED Chief Robert Stewart, SCLEAP received a grant in 1997 to serve SLED, SCDNR, SCDPS, and SCDPPPS.  In 2000 a law was passed extending the program, upon request, to Law Enforcement agencies statewide.  Similar to a Parish Ministry, SCLEAP chaplains and volunteers offer services in circumstances of addiction, post deployment, peer support, and critical incidents.  www.SCLEAP.org 

MeadowFEED: Based out of Meadowfield Elementary School, backpacks are filled every weekend for children who may not have a reliable source of food at home.

The Nurturing Center:  Initially a pilot program of Carolina Children’s Home in 1987-1988, The Nurturing Center has become a nationally accredited Behavioral Health Center dedicated to treating children and families dealing with issues of abuse and neglect.  Located on Pickens Street, the Center offers therapy and classes to families on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  TNC’s Home-Based Services reduce the risk of violence and other problems.  www.thenurturingcenter.org 

Salvation Army (Camp Walter Johnson): Continuing a long-standing Salvation Army service, and a long history of Salvation Army camping in the Carolinas, Camp Walter Johnson was opened in Denton, NC in 1974. Each summer, youth from many Salvation Army units all over the Carolinas come to camp, situated on High Rock Lake, for a week that can literally change their lives. www.salvationarmycarolinas.org/programs/nurture/summer-camp

Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands:  Formerly Rape Crisis Network, STSM is a private, nonprofit 501(c)3 service established in 1983.  STSM serves Richland, Lexington, Newberry and Sumter counties.  The 24-hour crisis response services include hospital accompaniment, the crisis hotline, and counseling by licensed professionals, among many other services.  www.stsm.org 

Shepherd’s Center of Columbia:  Located at Trenholm Road Methodist Church and supported by churches of many denominations, Shepherd’s Center is a ministry for senior adults to assist them in having more meaningful and fulfilling lives by using their skills and knowledge to benefit others in the community by serving together; to promote continued personal and spiritual growth; to help senior adults remain in their homes under satisfactory conditions.  www.shepherdcentercolumbia.org 

Sistercare:  Sistercare is a program of services for battered women and their children residing in Richland, Lexington, Fairfield, Newberry and Kershaw counties in South Carolina.  Sistercare operates three emergency shelters and offers counseling, court advocacy, and support groups for women and children, as well as education and training in the community.  www.sistercare.com 

Souper Bowl of Caring:  The Souper Bowl of Caring utilizes Super Bowl weekend to mobilize youth to fight hunger and poverty in the local communities.  The vision is to transform the time around the Super Bowl into the nation’s largest celebration of giving and serving.  A simple prayer:  “Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat,” delivered by Brad Smith, then a seminary intern serving at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church gave birth to an idea.  www.souperbowl.org 

St. Lawrence Place:  EPC makes a program specific donation toward SLP’s “Race for the Place.”  SLP is a community of thirty single-family homes in Columbia’s Edgewood-Floral neighborhood which gives families the security to stay together and to grow stronger while doing so.  Founded by Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in 1989, St. Lawrence Place is a 501(c)3 operated by Trinity Housing Corporation.  www.stlawrenceplace.org 

Theological Training for Prisoners:   A Columbia International University program that was established to give theological training to inmates of the prison system. 

Thornwell Home for Children:  Founded as a Presbyterian ministry in 1875, Thornwell Home for Children in Clinton, SC, is a joyful Christian Community offering hope and wholeness to children and families.  There are eleven residential cottages with six to eight children and their family teachers in each home.  Thornwell’s goals  to provide loving homes for abused, abandoned and neglected children; to offer an opportunity for healing by providing proper healthcare and mental health counseling for every Thornwell child; and to offer Thornwell’s children hope for a successful future by providing educational support and teaching self advocacy. www.thornwell.org 

Transitions (Midlands Housing Alliance):  The primary goal of the Midlands Housing Alliance (MHA) and Transitions is to move people from homelessness to permanent housing.  MHA collaborates with a number of different local service providers to work with Transitions to meet the various needs of the clients.  Transitions coordinates access to temporary housing, nutritional meals, medical services, substance abuse counseling, and job search among other services.  www.transitions.org 

Third Thursday Meals at Transitions:  EPC buys the meat, volunteers donate side dishes and desserts, and volunteers serve a hot meal at Transitions on the third Thursday of each month. 

Turning Pages/Literacy Council:  Turning Pages into Possibilities is a program of the Columbia Literacy Council.  Their mission is to help adults reach their full potential by helping them improve their reading, math and English language skills.  Volunteers are trained to be reading tutors to adults. www.greatercolumbialiteracycouncil/turningpages.org 

Washington Street Soup Cellar:  The Soup Cellar Ministry began at Washington Street United Methodist Church over 25 years ago when the church initiated a lunch program to feed an ever-increasing number of hungry people who came to its doors.  Washington St. UMC invited other downtown churches to join in a weekday venture, and a partnership was born.  The Soup Cellar Ministry now includes civic groups and other groups as well as churches in a wider area.  www.wsmethodist.org 

The Women’s Shelter:  The purpose of The Women’s Shelter is to provide a safe environment for homeless women in crisis and the necessary resources to build strong and healthy lives.  Residents may participate in this program for up to two years.  www.womenshelter.org