Monday, October 23, 2017

UPDATE Week of Oct 23

Tate Heisler, two year olds and their parents...
Tate had the chance to get out of the office to coach some Two Year Olds and their Parents in some of the finer points of the beautiful game. 


Grace and Tucker sweaty off a wild and wonderful week at Hot Yoga
ROUND TABLE was hosted by Host Parents Extraordinaire Rob and Becky Paynter aka the best. We constructed homemade pizzas.

Don't let the shirt fool you. That's a rolling pin not a baseball bat.
During dinner, we had a heated theological discussion about the authority of Scripture and women in ministry. Your normal everyday stuff...

Bacon and cheese pizza. Yum!
Afterward, we worshipped and split up into small groups in order to share deeper and pray for one another. A great night. 

LEADER LUNCH was with our friend of the Fellows, Steve Lineberger. He has such a great story and plenty of insight when it comes to integrating ones faith in the marketplace. We ate it up. We are also excited about his new venture with Winston Starts! 

Thanks Steve! Hope you made it to the airport on time!
Afterward, the guys had small group with James Harris and then mentor training with Bill McClain and Ron Pegram AND the KIDS!!!

THURSDAY NIGHT the Winston-Salem Fellows were highlighted at Venture Cafe! I forgot to take pictures, but a great time was had by all! And connections were made! Thanks Karen and Fay for putting us on the docket!


We extended offers to Andrew Miller and Abby Holdsworth to be members of next year's Fellows class, and BOTH have accepted!!! Great news!!!

We have two more applications in the hopper, and both are fantastic...we may have to wrestle some other programs in order to get them...but that's why I stay in shape! Come on!


Ashley Trewhella's sister came to town.

The Trewhella girls sure love to pick flowers

Natalie Bayer's parents and Caleb McKillop's parents also came into town!

Ashley celebrated host dad Todd Chase's 50th Birthday!

Happy Birthday!
Todd and Becca

Reese Schaffner celebrated his 24th birthday!

Reese celebrated his 24th birthday!

Grace sent us this picture from her time with the 9th grade girls from River Oaks

Not sure why there are six drinks and four people

David, Lia and I had Pioneer Day at school

so natural
Corn Husk Dolls

father and son

Lia, Ashley Hill and Ellen Robinson along with their team hosted an open house at Waughtown Pediatrics.

Lia, Ashley and Ellen

NOMAD FARMS also hosted an Arts Fair on Saturday. Kate Donahoo and others helped out.

Speaking of Kate, here is Kate singing at Hope Church this Sunday...

I tried to get a clap going but I was in the middle of videoing!

Other Fellows header to the State Fair and sent this photo.

Sarah and Grace

Team Scotland got annihilated.


Friends visited us at the cabin

And we made this little winner of a video...


Monday: Young Life Banquet

Tuesday: Round Table at the Browns

Wednesday: Leader Lunch with Yasser Yousef, small groups and a surprise...

Thursday: After School Lights at G.I.D.E.

Friday: Class and the Fall Advance in Black Mountain!

Sunday: Old Salem Halloween


THANK YOU! to all all of you who have contributed toward this program. If you would like to join the Fellows team by donating.

Or send Checks to

Winston-Salem Fellows
851 W. 5th Street
WSNC 27101


Keep sharing the story and spreading the love!

Monday, October 16, 2017

UPDATE Week of October 15

WS Fellows representing in the Dominican Republic (Hi Sarabeth!)


It was another great week to be a Fellow. 

Monday's Round Table was at Casa Erickson. I whipped up some barbeque that was devoured down to the last strand of meat (just saying). It was a great night of reconnecting. We also talked about how the integrated life does not only mean the integration of all the surface parts of our lives, but it also means the congruence of our inner lives with our outer lives. It brought about some great sharing, and a great analogy by Grace of how a banana has integrity because what you see on the outside looks like a banana and what you get on the inside is a banana. How about that.

Tuesday several Fellows went over to Bill and Myrtie Davis' for an impromptu dinner night. 

Sarah and Myrtie

Wednesday Leader Lunch was with Jay Helvey

Jay and the Fellows

Jay has become one of my very favorite people in Winston-Salem. I admire the way he sees everything through a Kingdom lens. I want to be like that. He gave great advice about work and faith and obedience and staying connected with people and with Jesus. Awesome.

We left inspired.

Continuing on to Small Groups and then Mentor Training with Bill McClain

Mentor training at 14th Street Rec Center 

Bill taught us about how to appropriately respond to different situations which may arise when working with youth. 

We then had a robust conversation about the NFL and kneeling during the national anthem. I was blown away. Bill was too. 

Look at how blown away Bill looks. Ha!

Some of our Fellow go from Mentor Training to youth group...

Sarah prays with her First Pres girls

Thursday morning I had the honor of speaking to NCS East. What a great group of men. 

From there, I helped lead the discussion on our National Director's Call. Then, that evening, I joined our admissions team to interview our first Fellows candidate for next year! Holy cow!

The kids have the Presidential fitness test this week so they decided to pump iron Thursday night (video below)

Friday we continued classwork with Jack Wilkerson and Clay Cooke. After class, we went over the next couple weeks...

lots going on...

Afterward, I ate lunch with the kids at the Winston-Salem Street School. (I think this will become a new tradition). 

Saturday we interviewed our second Fellows candidate for next year! Holy smokes! 

Several Fellows including Caleb, Natalie, and Tate (pictured here) went to the North Carolina game on Satruday

Sarah Wilkins ate ice cream while Kate Donahoo worked out. 

You would never know that we got absolutely pummeled by the opposition would you?

Sunday I had the chance to play alongside KAte Donahoo at church.

I also got to do a training run with my good friend and Fellows employer Mike Campbell. Great job Mike!

Whew...what a week.


We are in the midst of raising funds for this year. If you would like to contribute to the cause please send checks to

Winston-Salem Fellows
851 W. 5th St
Winston-Salem, NC 27104

or give online at

We are checking in with our Host Families, Mentors, and Churches in the next couple weeks. Looking forward to sharing reports.

Last night I met with our Fellows Alumni. They are going to work crew our Fellows Advance in a couple weeks! How is that for exciting!

We are also getting ready to announce a community-wide event that will be a gift to our city! Can't wait!!!

Stay tuned!

What's on the docket for this week?

We are celebrating Rob Paynter's birthday for Round Table tonight!
Leader Lunch is with Steve Lineberger
I had a hiccup in my Wednesday/Thursday so I now have a lot of time on my hands!
I'm presenting at Venture Cafe Thursday Night - COME JOIN AND SUPPORT US!!!
Friday we have class.
And this weekend is FULL with the RAH, a Soccer Game, Lia's Office Open House, Evening Activities, a Mountain Day, Leading Worship, and a Congregation Meeting at Church. Yikes!

All right - here's the video you have all been waiting for:

Thanks y'all!

Keep sharing the story and spreading the love...

Monday, October 09, 2017

UPDATE Week of Oct 9

Sarah Wilkins and Morgan Bonds at Quarry Park

The Week That Was

While on a run with Tate last night, I asked him how he was doing. He said, "Great! I don't want to say I feel closer to the Lord because I know He is always with me, but everything we did this week just made me more aware of Him." Woo-Hoo! How about that for an answer?

It really was a good week. 

ROUND TABLE. We had a super homestyle Round Table at Tripp and Patricia Wilson's house. Patricia made some killer chili, and the Wilsons sat in on worship and sharing as we went around and talked about formative moments from our past. 

Ashley and Fellows through the natural garden at the Wilson's home
For an encore, their daughter sang a song for us. One day, we will all say we once got to hear a home concert with the world famous Louisa Wilson. Wow!


I popped in to see Molly Lineberger (one of our mentors) at her work on Tuesday
 I popped in to see Molly as I was waiting to meet with a potential Fellow for next year. This week, I sat down with two stellar recruits from Wake. I know they have to go through the process, but we would be LUCKY to have Hannah Lafferrandre and Petey Fabian as Fellows next year. Let's pray them in!!!

LEADER LUNCH. Lanie Ehlinger and Allison Willis hosted us for Leader Lunch Wednesday. Lanie was the speaker (though Allison would have been awesome to hear from as well). Lanie is a true leader. I know that she has never run a company or held a high ranking position. But in terms of wisdom, influence, and impact - I don't know of many in her league.

Lanie Ehlinger in her element

What a lunch! It was like drinking from a fire hose of life! She whipped out her red rope of grace and sifter and handed each a signed copy of her book. What a gift! Ashley was late to our meeting at 4pm because she and Lanie just kept talking! (Leader Lunch ended at 2! Thank you Lanie!


I know this photo is from last year...

Wow! It was worth the wait! Bill McClain and Ron Pegram postponed out mentor training the last two weeks. Finally, this past Wednesday we were able to sit down with them. 

Woo-whee! They shared their stories and opened our eyes and humbled us and inspired us all at the same time! I can't wait for Round Two!


River Birch in the AM

Thursday started really early for us as the Board with the tremendous hospitality and service of Eddie and Michelle Schapira along with the River Birch Lodge Crew hosted our first and maybe not our last START WELL Breakfast Fundraiser.

The program included a program overview from Josh Benoit, and interviews with Will Troxler (2016 alumnus) and Grace Mezzy (current Fellow). I offered a few remarks and Gardner Barrier brought us home. But I don't think anyone remembered what Josh or I said. Will and Grace stole the show (I had no doubt they would).

What a great morning!

FUNDRAISING UPDATE. We had a successful breakfast. THANK YOU!!! This week we will be sending thank you letters, photo cards and also support letters to those who have given or have indicated they would like to give but were unable to attend.

If all goes well, with pledges and donations we are optimistic to be at or near our goal. WOO-HOO!

If you want to pledge or donate now...

Mail a check or pledge to

Winston-Salem Fellows. 851 W. 5th St. WSNC 27101

or go to

you too can have a photo thank you card on your fridge!!!

Abbey Sams, Grace Mezzy, and Tate Heisler traveled up to Camp Hanes with the River Oaks Youth Group for their fall camp!

Word on the street is they brought the sunshine to a damp and dreary Saturday and Sunday.

Abbey cheering on her girls

Tate and Abbey leading worship

Morgan Bonds also was at camp. She was at Windy Gap with Forsyth County Young Life! (I got no photos to prove it, so you will have to trust me). 


Macon, Woody, Ned, Hayes, Pearson, Baldin and Goose
Every five years, a group of my college buddies get together and destroy each other in good fun as we fight in 10 individual and 2 group events to see who is Mr. Davidson!

Events include: Spelling Bee, Cake Race, Pole Hang, Cooler Carry, Frisbee Dash, Mr. Davidson Shuttle Run, Taking the PSAT, Field Goal Kicks, Laundry Bag Highlands Toss, and the dreaded Car Push. 

Figuring out the strategy for the cooler carry

Baldwin takes on all ten coolers!

Congrats to Macon for taking home the championship

A lot's happened in Ned's life since freshman year!


Round Table is at the Ericksons
Tuesday I am meeting with another potential Fellow
Wednesday and Thursday I am leading a discussion on our National Directors Call
Leader Lunch will be with Jay Helvey! 
Small Groups and Mentor Training will follow. 
Thursday I am speaking at NCS EAST. Please come (if you are a man). 
Thursday Night we have a final interview a potential Fellow
Friday We have class with Jack and Clay
Saturday we interview another potential Fellow!

Here we go!

Monday, October 02, 2017

UPDATE Week of October 2

Natalie, Abbey, Ashley, and Morgan enjoy the beautiful weather at Reynolda


My heart is heavy as I write to you - thinking about the loss of life in Las Vegas, the loss of friends like Larry Haglund and Mickey Wallace, the suffering of others.  

We live in a world in need of redemption, restoration, and revival. We follow the one and only one who can do it. Come Jesus. Come.

In many ways, Jesus did show up this week. Even better, we got to join him!

Fellows alumni, Christina Sandstedt 
Fellows alumni Christina Sandstedt joined 100 community members to head to Houston to help with Hurricane recovery efforts. 

Round Table
Round Table was hosted by none other than Peter Barnes. We always have a good time when we are together, but there was an added spirit of good times in the Barnes household on Monday. Peter is a pro at hospitality. Laughter rang through the house. Deep conversation went down. Worship brought me to tears. And it was nine o'clock before you knew it. 

We had our first ever Leader Lunch cancellation! Big bummer as our speaker called in under the weather. I probably could have found somebody to pinch hit but sensed instead we needed some community building time with the Fellows. 

Mary the Meat Lady
 I had a hoot with Mary the Meat Lady at Harris Teeter as we put together Cheese Steaks for lunch.

Turns out the non leader lunch community time was needed. My friend Jess talks about things being "brutifull" and that's what it was. The beauty of community is that it creates the safe place for you to deal with hard things. That's what Wednesday was - brutiful. 

Afterward, the Fellows received a guided tour of the Winston-Salem Street School. Thank you Nick Wright. It was right after their fundraiser! So impressed with Nick and the team over there.

Speaking of Fundraisers, Thursday morning the Fellows served at the annual Sam and Eggs Fundraiser for Samaritan Ministries. What an honor to be there! Thank you Jan and Kelly.

Mentors. Fellows continue to find time to meet with mentors. 

Kate Donahoo got in a wrestling match with her mentor's daughter and lost...

Natalie sent this photo to me of she and Sara Beth her mentor's daughter. 

Tate and his mentor went on a run. 

Michelle and Grace
Michelle and Grace (mentor and mentee) went for a walk and talk.

Host Families also have been a huge blessing. 

JP celebrated multiple family birthdays this week. 

Ashley has become a hardcore field hockey fan as she watches her host sister play for FCDS. 

Grace sent me this photo of dinner with the that Crafted?

Jon, Grace and Holly
Morgan's host family had to vouch for her when the president of their Home Owner's Association accused her of not being a resident!

What a life!


I'm proud of how well these Fellows do community. 

Most went down to the Bluegrass Festival at Bailey Park on Friday
the gals at Reynolda Gardens
Natalie, Morgan, Abbey and Grace
We call it "doing life." The keys are inclusivity, intentionality, vulnerability, and love, plus a touch of not taking yourself too seriously. 

Church has also been a huge factor in the sweetness of this year so far. 

Kate helped lead worship at Hope this Sunday. 

Ashley helped out with middle schoolers last week at Montreat with First Pres. 

Caleb went on the Redeemer Men's Retreat this weekend. 

Caleb second from the left
My family had the honor of celebrating one of Hope Church's matriarch's Lucy Coats on her 88th birthday!

You know you're family when Lucy lets you in and lets you take her picture while she still has in her curlers!


It is not too late to come!!!

Date: Thursday, October 5th
Time: 7:00-8:30am
Location: River Birch Lodge (3324 Robinhood Rd)

Join us on Thursday, October 5th for a free breakfast to celebrate the start of the second year of this wonderful community program. Come and learn about those being impacted as well as how to engage further and support the work the Lord is doing here.  

REGISTER HERE (or email your RSVP to

Can I invite friends? YES. (Just forward this email)

Can't attend this event but would still like to support the WS Fellows?

Two-thirds of our budget comes from tuition and church support. We rely on the generosity of this community and friends of this community to supply the rest. Please pray about giving toward this mission and the investment it is making in the future leaders of this city. 



-Pray for Fellows as God continues to crack them up so they can experience healing and wholeness. 
-Pray for Small Group time as we focus on Jesus and what he's up to
-Pray for Mentor Training (the Fellows will be mentoring children over in East Winston) which begins this Wednesday with Bill McClain and Ron Pegram
-Pray for the Ericksons. This week we have had a car break down and a squirrel take up residence in the attic. In other words, Satan is being mean. Proof that God must be on the move! Come on!
-Pray for the Start Well Breakfast. Pray for those who have been invited whether they can attend or not to be generous toward this mission. 


This week we have Round Table with Tripp and Patricia Wilson. 
Leader Lunch with Lanie Ehlinger
the Start Well Breakfast
and Mr. Davidson (more on that next week)

More photos from the week that was...
Was able to have lunch with both kids at school on Monday!

Ned and David 2017

Ned and David 2012

The Ferris Wheel

Bluegrass at Bailey Park

A hard fought game

Anna Rose and Lia on top of the Ferris Wheel

Elephant Ears at the Fair

Bigger than yo face!

Morgan shared a sunset pic with me

The rally hat came up short at the Wake Game