Last year I met Davy Nance through the college ministry, Overflow as he served on the Host team. Davy could always be caught with a smile stretching from ear to ear while welcoming students. He is currently finishing up his Masters in Divinity through Liberty University and is concentrating in pastoral ministries. Even though many unknowns lie ahead of his journey, I have enjoyed seeing him actively following Jesus through his day-to-day work.
Over this year, I’ve witnessed the perspective he has gained while volunteering on the cafe and greeter teams at the PC3 Wilmington campus, serving as a Cafe Captain for Overflow, and learning as an intern under Don Brown at the PC3 Leland campus. Davy shared that these different opportunities, “…open up doors for me to create relationships, serve others, and possibly be the first bit of joy and encouragement they have.”
During his internship with Don Brown, Davy has been able to learn about what it looks like to lead a church campus as well as help other staff members with their work. Davy mentions, “God has been showing me that ministry comes in so many different ways. My initial call to ministry made me have tunnel vision to what being a pastor is. Over the years, and especially diving into this year with Don has allowed my tunnel vision to be destroyed in a great way.”
God continued to open up Davy’s vision as he was hired at the Brigade Boy’s and Girl’s Club where there are more than 2,200 youth being served. As the Preventive Program Instructor, Davy helps teach engaging programs that will proactively prepare the children for challenges they will face in the world. The programs focus on healthy lifestyles including body care, handling peer pressure, and preventive measures against drugs, gangs, and harmful activity.
Davy shares, “In my role at Brigade, God has been showing me how important it is to mirror His patience. The kids are great at doing things that get them into trouble. They get so caught up in what they are feeling, or what they are doing, that they do not consider that what they are doing is wrong.”
What I am inspired most from Davy’s experiences is the heart-centered focus towards the youth. He continues, “They get so caught up in what they are doing, and before they know it they have messed up. I am working towards recognizing that while punishment is effective in teaching the kids I oversee, them seeing I care is going to be the most effective form of teaching and correcting.”
Davy explained that caring for them involves having one-on-one conversations that allows him to enter into the depths of their hearts and discover the root of what’s really causing their behavior. By having conversations with the children in his care, Davy is able to develop a level of trust as they see his efforts to pursue the good in them.
Thank you Davy for sharing your experiences and leaving this encouragement, “God has challenged me throughout the years by helping me recognize that there is no such thing as an insignificant role in God’s Kingdom. From the world’s view, we are good at putting certain roles on scales that tend to make some seem more significant and others insignificant. But the reality of God’s Kingdom is that every role is important and necessary.”
What I learned from learning about Davy’s story is that no matter what role of our job is, the people we are surrounded by, or the hardships we encounter, we can always find joy in knowing that it can all serve to mold ourselves and advance the gospel. (Philippians 1:12)
Story Written By: Casey Pham
God can and will use anything, anyone and any event to bring people closer to Him. Take for example, Cathy and Charles Echols. When they found out that Cathy was pregnant with their daughter Chelsea, the Echols knew they wanted to expose her to faith. They responded to those promptings by searching for a church community where they could connect. After “church shopping” for awhile, they found Port City Community Church, which they now call their church home.
This is a step Cathy never imagined taking given her background. Before having their first daughter, Cathy explained how she wrestled with whether or not God was real. Growing up, she was turned off by the negative stigmatism surrounding churches, religion and God. She was not brought up in church, and didn’t feel she had the opportunity to learn about church. As a result, she judged it harshly. Cathy explained, “Because of this, we felt the urge to expose our daughter to church and be more open minded by going to different churches and we ended up at PC3.”
“We initiated the whole ‘trying out church thing’ not for Cathy and I, but for Chelsea,” Charles said.
When she suggested trying out PC3, at first Charles was hesitant, “At first Charles said he did not want to be lost by going to a huge, mega church. But I said, ‘Charles let’s just try it!’. When we came here for the first time, we said this was the one. Even Chelsea asked if we could come here again.” Charles explained how “tight” the audio and lights were and how Mike kept his attention. Charles also felt moved by Pastor Mike’s messages, “Mike has a real talent to where even when you have all these people and even when he’s on a TV screen, you can still feel engaged.”
During this process, they sent their daughter to a Christian preschool. Chelsea came home from school every day sharing stories and Bible verses that Cathy and Charles had never heard.
Cathy described, “As an adult walking into a church it’s very intimidating.” However, they were able to go to church through Chelsea. God was using their daughter to share His stories and to get them connected in the church without them realizing it.
Unknowingly, Chelsea is still connecting her parents even deeper in the church. She begged her mom to volunteer with her on Sundays in Grow Zone, PC3’s children’s ministry. By volunteering, Cathy has connected with the children in her class and with their parents as well.
“At first it was awkward. I didn’t feel like I knew enough to teach the kids and I felt intimidated. But now it is really neat to see these kids grow and for Chelsea and I to grow in our faith together,” Cathy said.
Charles and Cathy Echols have lived in in Leland for 11 years. While they have watched the town grow and develop, they have been able to watch Port City grow with it. When they began attending, only the Wilmington campus existed. While in Wilmington, they felt obligated to get connected in a small group. Originally, Cathy was reluctant to the idea of joining a small group. The idea made her feel uncomfortable. However, they persevered through their hesitations and attended a Small Group Connection event.
Unfortunately, none of the small groups at this event seemed to be a good fit. In the lobby, they overheard a group of people who were in the same situation as they were. In the midst of the conversation, they all realized they lived in Leland and decided to create a group of their own. This was the start of one of the very first PC3 Leland small groups.
Once the Leland campus opened, it took awhile for Charles and Cathy to adjust. But Charles admitted, “I personally felt like it was best for the church for us to go to Leland and help grow that campus. I had to put my own selfish interests aside and be a part of this new community.”
Cathy and Charles are continuing to grow and be more involved in the church. They also have another daughter, Cylie, who is being reared in the church as well. Through the church they have been able to seek community and fulfillment through Christ, and find a church home in Leland.
“We’ve always felt unfulfilled before we went to church. I remember thinking before I had kids nothing bad has happened to me. Yet, I still felt unhappy. When you start going to church and believing, you begin to realize that it was God that really missing in the whole equation,” Cathy said.
PC3 writer Maggie Brown wrote this story.