Monday, January 28, 2019

UPDATE Week of January 28

Brian and Mathu swear that this was unplanned


One of the best parts of the Winston-Salem Fellows Program is our friendship and partnership with the local church. First Presbyterian, Hope Presbyterian, Redeemer Presbyterian, River Oaks Community, and Trinity Community have been awesome to work with. 

These churches provide our host families, mentors, spiritual leadership, and opportunities for our Fellows to learn, grow and serve. Fellows find ways to get involved with worship, youth, and other parts of church life. 

We are so thankful for our church partners. 

And we are open to more! If you are part of a church that is not one of the named ones above, please reach out! (You do not need to be Presbyterian, by the way!)


Laura is unafraid of giving the camera a stink eye

We had ROUND TABLE over at Rob and Becky Paynters (aka Laura Johnson's host parents). Good old Rob had big plans on cooking us brick oven pizzas out back, but it was so cold the oven refused to work. BUMMER!

We moved inside and it all worked out just fine. 


Laura moves fast and sometimes she wields a knife!
Arbor Acres and CEO Andrew Applegate were on display for this week's LEADER LUNCH. Arbor Acres, the retirement community, is quite the amazing place. And Andrew is quite the Leader Lunch speaker. 

Andrew Applegate and the Fellows
He is one of the wisest men I know in town, and he was kind enough to share his wisdom with us on Tuesday (smack dab in the middle of accreditation meetings!)

Some of his wisdom nuggets include: "The community will always take on the character of the leader." 

"The key is finding people and being the kind of person that is willing to give your heart to the work."

"If you use your hands, you are a worker. If you use your hands and your head, you are a craftsman. If you use your hands, your head, and your heart, you are an artist."

The last one was St. Francis. But it's a wise person who knows St. Francis. 

out takes
Out takes. It's seriously getting harder and harder to nail these folks down.
RECRUITING at UNC. Spent the day at Chapel Thrill and had a series of great meetings. Praying hard that we will get some Tarheel applicants!

SAMARITAN INN. Thursday continued with half of our Fellows volunteering at Samaritan Inn the homeless shelter. 

Shorty and the Fellows holding down the serving line
Garrett and I holding down the pits
It was a really fun night. We met some interesting characters. 

I found a dusty book that I had been looking for now for weeks (it's out of publish and not in any of our libraries - but there it was on the bottom of a stack of books that hadn't been touched for years! I asked Steve, the Director, if I could borrow it. He said I could have it! I told him that this is one of the best books ever. One of the guys from the shelter overheard us and said, 'Actually, could you bring it back? Ha! Of course! I said. Maybe we could start a book club!)

FRIDAY was classes and good times. 

SATURDAY we celebrated Rob Alexander. He is transitioning out of his current job toward a new opportunity that will enable to dust off his engineering expertise and set it to work for good.

It was a tearful good-bye. But there was a lot of joy in those tears. 

Rob has been a faithful servant and a good friend. The Fellows have benefited from his advocacy and inside work as a staff member at Redeemer and also his serving as the Treasurer of our Board. 

He got through it. It wasn't easy.
We love you Rob!

Afterward, we went over to the West Salem Public House to listen to Fellows Alum Dakota Lee and friend of the Fellows Halston Kirkpatrick bring back the glory days when they played in their college band, The Chasers. 

The Chaser Reunion Tour started here

Dakota was awesome!
Good times with Fellows - old and new - sup Hootie!


Things are picking up. We have three applicants in the pipeline. We are awaiting a few answers from some others. And there are several who have indicated that they are planning to apply. This is encouraging! If we continue at this pace, we will be full by April 1.

With that in mind - APPLY NOW! - this is no time to dilly dally. If you know someone who is figuring our their future - point them to the Fellows today. Email this link:


Julia gives by volunteering as a Young Lives Leader

 There are lots of ways to give to the Fellows.

We need speakers, round table hosts, mentors, host families, employers, prayer warriors, advocates, and financial supporters. 

Contact the Winston-Salem Fellows or call (336) 413-4918 to find out ways to get involved.



MONDAY - Round Table with Kevin and Becky Dollinger (aka Christian McConnon's host family)
TUESDAY - Prepping for the UNION performance and Forum on Faith and Culture next week
WEDNESDAY - Leader Lunch with Joanna Lyall, currently the Associate Vice President in the Office of Philanthropy at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
THURSDAY - The other half of Fellows spend the night at Samaritan Inn.
FRIDAY - Classes with Rob Alexander and Jack Wilkerson
- interviewing a Fellow's recruit from Clemson
- Attending the Arts of Leading Conference at Wake Forest University
SATURDAY - celebrating David's birthday!

Curt and Mathu did Church at the gym last Sunday. 

Todd, Mathu's host dad had to help work out the kinks afterward
Rob's speech

Good times at the pub
Public House

Abbey posted some beautiful pictures from her wedding this week

Sarah Wilkins and Kate Donahoo perform at Abbey's wedding

This is the moment I cried. 

Someone is on the wrong foot but I don't know who it is


Monday, January 21, 2019

UPDATE Week of January 21

The first ever Fellows wall sit!

Good morning, Friends! Today is a day of service and remembrance to honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. 

One of the hallmarks of the Fellows Program is the emphasis on community. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision was for what he called the"Beloved Community."

He said: Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives. In another place he said this:“[The Beloved Community] is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opponents into friends. It is this type of understanding goodwill that will transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age. It is this love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of men.” These words inspire me, and I hope they inspire you. Because whether you think they are pie in the sky or not - the truth is they are true. 

Love transforms things. Today I encourage you, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.  to give love a chance. Let it start with us.   


Round Table
We set the record for the rowdiest Round Table ever. The Moretz's pulled out instruments and noisemakers for all of us - and we redefined what the Bible refers to as "making a joyful NOISE."

Chanice and Aly took on Isaac, Luke and Ben in some indoor soccer.

A GREAT TIME was had by all. Thank you Christian and Katie! (aka host parents of Tim Spangler!) for an awesome night. 

Curtis Harrington owner and operator of FAST

We had such a fun Leader Lunch with Curtis Harrington, the owner and operator of FAST - Families Actively Striving Together. It is a gym on Broad St. that is spreading the good news of mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical fitness to the city. 

Curtis has an amazing vision - and he is one good motivator and instructor. 

He put the Fellows through the paces. 

Here is us doing the ROPES

Here is us doing the WAVE

Curtis prepping us

the wall sit

Check out his facebook page.

Sign up for a workout today!

Thank you Curtis! You are truth and inspiration!


Kelly Martin got some good news this week

Kelly Martin came into the program with one major goal: to get into PT school. Well, on Thursday, Kelly didn't get into PT school - she got into TWO PT schools on the same day!

Kelly we are so proud of you! I can't wait to get injured so you can nurse me back to health! 


Bryan Pardue is another one of our All Star Fellows. He is doing Operations and Marketing at Chik-fil-a. Everyone get on the mobile app today!

Breakfast of Champions

Cigar night at Nigel's

This Tuesday night Bryan is speaking at New Canaan Society Brookberry. So excited for the men to hear his story! You go Bryan! Meeting is at 7:30-8:30 in the Barn.


The Dr. Jack Wilkerson
The Fellows began their Business Ethics course with the renowned professor Dr. Jack Wilkerson. One of the many benefits of being a Fellow...


While Ned and Lia were out of town at the Young Life Africa Conference, the Fellows had a crazy rager over at Christian's house. See photo for proof...

Tim and Christian


Enjoying the sunset on the gazebo

Celebrating Yousef's new job title "Associate Regional Director"

Zach Brady - one of the reasons Trent came to Winston-Salem! In ten days he will be moving to Malawi

We had a lot of fun with Crabby and Shrimpy the program team
Reconnecting with Pete Hardesty. We went on YL Staff together in 1997! Now he is the head of Young Life College - hoping to build a new partnership Fellows pipeline - this could be huge!
Nearly slayed myself on a fifteen miler against the wind - brutal

Aly Hall went the other way and went snowboarding in Canada
Here is proof


Thank you to all of you for giving to the Fellows Program. If that is something you have intended to do but have never done - DO IT NOW!

Why not?

Write a check to 
Winston-Salem Fellows
851 W. 5th St. 
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

or give online at

Thank you!


REMINDER - Everyone is a recruiter!

We need your help finding great Fellows. If someone comes to mind - please connect them to us. 

We had a phone interview with another Fellow from South Carolina this week. We hope to get her up here this week. 

I'll be heading to UNC Chapel Hill to meet with folks on Thursday. Working on a trip to Davidson College and Montreat. 

It's go time! 


Monday ROUND TABLE with the Paynters
Tuesday Logistics meeting with the UNION team - Feb 8 - mark your calendars! get your ticket now! More information here:
Wednesday: LEADER LUNCH with Andrew Applegate at Arbor Acres
Thursday: Volunteering and spending the night at Samaritan Inn
Friday: Classes
Saturday: All day meetings with Piedmont Fellows about Career and Coaching


For our Fellows! Many of them are thinking about their future. 
Pray for open doors and clear paths. 
And if you know of great opportunities, pass them on. I've got great Fellows!

Pray also for recruiting. I don't know where next year's twelve are going to come from - but I want each one to be an answer to prayer!

Thanks all - Keep sharing the story and spreading the love.

View from Garrett's office

me and my love

Imagine the time it took for you to read this blog and compare that to how long Curtis made us wall sit! 

Monday, January 14, 2019

UPDATE Week of January 14

Congratulations Reese and Julia!


The Winston-Salem Fellows celebrated their first Fellows wedding over the weekend. 

Twenty-four hours after these two first met...

Two and a half years later!

We were the butt of many of laugh as it was mentioned more than once that these two were kept apart by the no dating a fellow Fellow rule! - HA!

One of the reasons, I believe so strongly in that rule, by the way, is that it can lead to this - one of the most joyful, celebratory weddings I have ever witnessed. 

Congratulations Reese and Julia! We love you and are so excited to see you guys finally hitched!

(more photos later)


A Festive Round Table

I couldn't imagine a better way to start the second semester with a Round Table with Bill and Myrtie Davis. What a great night!

Bill Davis always insists on being the photographer!
I asked Bill and Myrtie for some relationship advice. They talked about forgivness and having a sense of humor. 

That modeled the latter multiple times during our evening with them. Thank you guys!

We finished early so we could watch the Alabama Clemson game (go Tigers!)


Sure was bright
Jay Helvey was our speaker this week. He has such a great story. Some of the notes I took had to do with the importance of building social capital and a portfolio of community connections. That is true wealth. 

He also talked about following God's lead. Even though it didn't often lead where he expected it would lead - it always led to great blessings. 

We left inspired and encouraged. Thank you Jay!


A true Fellows welcome
We had an awesome interview with Logan Russell, a senior from Davidson College. 

Applications are a bit slow this year. I've been in contact with two females and a couple males, but as of today we only have one interview set. 


specifically: Pray that we will be able to fill our class with 12 outstanding Fellows by the end of May. 

Thank you! 

Hey college seniors! I'm not saying that it will lead to this - but what if it did...apply today!


We are so thankful for our financial partners. Folks ask us "How are you able to do so much?" Well, one of the reasons is because of our generous donors that free the director up to focus on the work and not the fundraising. 


If you would like to join the support team, send checks to 

Winston-Salem Fellows
851 W. 5th St. 
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

or give on line at


Shannon Rainey

My right hand woman has had major knee surgery and will be out of commission for a couple months. Please pray for her FULL RECOVERY! 

And pray I can survive without her!


Monday: ROUND TABLE - Christian and Katie Moretz (Hosts of Tim Spangler)

Wednesday: LEADER LUNCH - Curtis Harrington - Gym Owner and owner of F.A.S.T. (Families Athletically Striving Together)

Curtis Harrington

In addition to speaking - he is going to lead us in a Group Workout!


Friday: Classes continue. Ned will be in Greensboro teaching the Piedmont Fellows!

This weekend Lia and I are heading to a Young Life Africa Conference! Woo Hoo!


Picture of a Polaroid
Rehearsal dinner

Campbell and I taking a break from dancing

Are officiants supposed to cry? This one did!

Bryan at home at Bill and Myrtie's

One day away!

I would love for Anna Rose to grow up to be like Julia

Three beauties

Photo Cred: Natalie Bayer

Goodie Bags

Here comes the bride!
Laugh crying all the way down the aisle

Aly, Abby and Chanice at Bill and Myrtie

Young Lives women at the wedding

The one and only Dakota Lee

Game time

First dance

they put on a show!

Abby and Lia holding Abby and Lia