Lloyd Presbyterian with the Fellowship Community
By Rev. Laura Spangler –
What joy I experienced when our session unanimously said yes to joining the Fellowship Community, October 12, 2014. Our vision statement at Lloyd Presbyterian Church is Following Jesus, Making Disciples and Serving God’s People.
Lloyd is an historically African American Church founded in 1870. Church leaders and members have consistently sought to follow Christ through scripture and often found themselves on the cutting edge of social justice, especially in areas of race and economics.
Northern Presbyterian missionaries came down to North Carolina just after the Civil War and helped found Lloyd to provide a place where newly freed slaves could worship in freedom. This Southern church was named after a European American 19th century abolitionist and is now intentionally multicultural. I have served as Lloyd’s stated supply pastor since 1997.
As we continue to seek freedom from our sin, freedom from cultural oppression and freedom to share the gospel and follow Christ through scripture, we are again finding ourselves as theological minorities, both in the PC(USA) and in North America. Identity with the Fellowship Community is giving us a theological home and soul mates with whom to connect. We want to remain in PC(USA) mission and find the Fellowship Community supportive of this.
The Lloyd neighborhood has undergone many changes since 1870. Lloyd Church, still in the same place in which it was originally planted, now finds itself in a redeveloped urban area of Winston-Salem, NC and we continue to serve the poor. Many of our neighbors are homeless or stay in near by shelters.
Since 1998, we have established a weekly Bible study fellowship to provide spiritual and physical food to many who come to us off the streets. Until her death, Ella Pomeroy, established Lloyd as a day shelter for 11 years, serving hundreds each week. This was an amazing act of God since Lloyd is a one room sanctuary with a small basement.
Lloyd has now been asked by a large community of Christians in Winston-Salem to serve as a check in place for those needing over flow shelter in the winter. December 1 through March 31 we will register all who can’t find a bed in an established shelter. With church and community volunteers, we will welcome folks every night from 7 until 8 when they will be transported to a local church for overnight shelter.
We are grateful for the support of our Fellowship Community neighbors, First Presbyterian Church of Winston-Salem. Members there have partnered with us for many years in our weekly Bible study. Pastor Peter Barnes helped connect me and my husband with The Fellowship Community and helped connect me and Paul and Debbie Detterman. We recently met each other in Montreat. Paul is helping to connect me with other Fellowship members whom I look forward to getting to know.
I am so grateful for the ongoing faith and support of the Fellowship Community. I pray we will grow together and be a strong and beautiful witness as we seek to share the good news of what Christ is doing for and through us.