Monday, February 25, 2019

UPDATE Week of February 25


Celebrating Laura! Thursday was her birthday
One of the best traditions of the WS Fellows is how we celebrate birthdays. We gather when possible over food and spend time sharing the things we love most about the person. This week we had the chance to honor and affirm one of our all time greats: Laura Johnson. 


The Paynters

The Paynters whipped up some chili and gourmet cheese toast for the Fellows Monday night. It was o good, it put us all in a near food coma!

Trent enters the food coma
We were all pretty tired, so we headed into small groups early and were able to all get home at a decent hour...


I don't think this was the cause or the reason, but Mathu shared a video with us about the perils of hitting the snooze button.

I have no idea if this video is accurate but we decided to give it a try. Tuesday morning, we began the no snooze challenge...

No snooze challnge

no snooze challenge

no snooze challenge


David and Logan

I learned the day before that David didn't have school, so I brought him along to Davidson for a recruiting visit. (I guess you could call it his first official college visit.)

It was a successful day in more ways than one. I think we recruited a couple potential Fellows. AND I think Davidson is now David's top choice in colleges! WOO-HOO! Make a dad proud!

What a fun day!


Natalie celebrated her birthday on Tuesday!
 Great to see the alumns come out to celebrate Natalie Bayer's birthday on Tuesday. We actually all got together AGAIN on Sunday to celebrate Ashley Trewhella's birthday on Sunday!

What's up with all the February birthdays????


Minus our leader lunch with Keith Vest, February has been all about women leaders. This week it was one of the best: Cynthia Tessien. 

Former CEO of Inmar, now Accounting Professor, Cynthia led the Fellows in one of the best conversations of the year. 


Cynthia repping in the Fellows gear

I always learn something new when I listen to this amazing leader. This year it was the term Gravity Issues. That was a new one for me!

The Fellows and Cynthia

It is always cool when the Fellows linger to talk with the speaker


Thursday afternoon, I had the sweet privilege of spending time with Nigel and Sarah Alston. Sarah's been under the weather recently and so they haven't had the chance to go to church.

So I brought church to them!

Nigel caught me in the middle of eating the body of Christ! (He was a little dry!)

Later we did some dreaming and scheming

Thank you Nigel! What a sweet time with a friend til the end. 


We had a great time with Jack on Friday and then we workshopped mission and purpose statements. They are starting to come together. 


Haley Westervelt

Welcome Haley! We are celebrating our first of what might be several Wake Forest students who will be coming our way next year. 

Haley is a remarkable young woman with a massive servant's heart and a brilliant mind. She has plans to pursue medicine and ministry. 

So excited to have you on board. 

We have a few more interviews on the docket. I'll be heading to Montreat for a recruitment trip on Tuesday. 

Remember: you are one of our best avenues of recruiting. (Spots are filling quickly this year). 


We need your financial support!

Here's how to give it. 

or Mail to:
Winston-Salem Fellows
851 W. 5th St. 
Winston-Salem, NC 27101


We need ROUND TABLE HOSTS. March 4 is open. Also March 18, 25. April 1, 8, 15.

email me at

Some CURRENT Fellows are looking for job opportunities following the Fellows year. Let me know if you are looking for smart, hard-working, men and women of integrity, who are motivated to be the best hire you have ever had. 

Mathu takes it for the team
Just an example of what these Fellows are willing to do...


Monday: ROUND TABLE at the Ericksons
Tuesday: Recruiting Trip to Montreat
Wednesday: LEADER LUNCH with Dr. Rebecca Alexander the mastermind of Wake Downtown
Thursday: Planning Day
Friday: Last class with Jack and first class with Joe Moore. Christian, Mathu and I are heading to a conference. AND Joy Prom that night. 


Help out Big Brothers Big Sisters by financially supporting or bowling or both!

More Photos...

David and the Wildcat

My son David at Davidson

Kate, Ashley, JP, Ned, Natalie, Morgan and Tim

Cythnia is killing it!

Speaking of killing it! Chanice is working out at FAST with Clay and Curt!

Monday, February 18, 2019

UPDATE Week of Feb 18

Welcome to the Weekly UPDATE

Flashback to college Mathu Gibson. So glad he is on our team! 

Highlights from the week.

ROUND TABLE at the home of Kalim and Paula Andraos. Wow. After being welcomed into the Andraos home, I realized how much I need to learn about hospitality.

Prepping for worship post feast. 

Kalim confessed that all his friends are getting old and that he was on the look out for younger ones. The Fellows were glad to oblige!

As Kalim only can do, he gave us an impassioned charge to follow Jesus and live righteously. A great night was had by all. (more photos below) 

Have you ever had a golden almond?

I can now say that I have!
LEADER LUNCH at the Variable with Keith Vest

This place rocks

Keith Vest took Leader Lunch to the next level. He used his story to help us see how God truly does direct our paths.  

You wouldn't believe how many takes it took to get this picture

The Variable is so cool
Thank you Keith for bringing the heat and the heart. You are a great friend.  

BOARD ADVANCE. That's right. The Fellows don't retreat. We advance! Even the board. After a couple postponements, on Wednesday night, the board finally got together to do some reflection and planning. It was worth the wait! What a night! 

Get ready city! Good things are coming. 


The gals at Waughtown Pediatrics
Blake Hill and I paid our wives a visit on Wednesday and spread the love to the entire office at Waughtown Peds. 

We switched it up. Blake went red and I went blond.
Then, Lia and friends turned the tables on us on Saturday and surprised us with dinner and Ricky Skaggs tickets!

Can anyone say prom pic?

what a show!

It was church - bluegrass style.

CLASSES. We continued class with Jack Wilkerson and ended our course with Rob Alexander. 

We went out with a bang. Rob had us all over to his new office on Kimwell Street at SonicAire. 

Controlling all your dust needs


Yep. That's a mini velodrome.

Saturday, at the new Winston Junction (get ready Winston), there was the first of several promotion events for the cycling center. 

To me it felt a little bit like fight club. Ha!

the place was packed



Welcome Sophie-Earle!

We immediately felt at home with Sophie-Earle. She has a magnetic personality and an infectious laugh. She is our second Clemson student this year and will be bringing her talents to Winston-Salem next year. We couldn't be more excited about it. 

We continue to receive applications. I'll be heading to Davidson this week to meet with some potential leads. 

If you know of anybody who may be interested in this or another Fellows program - contact me this week! Spaces are filling fast. 


We are so thankful for the support we receive to do this program. Without you, we wouldn't exist. 

If you would like to join the giving team, here's how:

Send checks to 

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

or give online at


Host a Round Table! Want to have the Fellows over for dinner? We have spaces available this spring. Round Tables are 6-9pm on Mondays. We gather, eat, clean, worship and pray. A good time is always had by all. If you are interested in hosting - contact Ned at

The Fellows love homes





THURSDAY: Nigel and I are going to do a little church!

FRIDAY: Jack's Class and Mission Statement Workshop

 Woo Hoo! Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

Elizabeth, Stef, Lia and Joan

Andrew is thinking about getting one of these for his apartment next year

i really don't know who Christian thinks he is sometimes...

Trent's girlfriend practices her ax throwing - coming to Winston soon!!!!

Monday, February 11, 2019

UPDATE Week of February 11

WHAT A POWERFUL WEEK began with a puppy

Meet Honey


Thank you Jeff and Deanne (and Honey) for a wonderful night last Monday. I had no chance keeping the Fellows attention with Honey wagging her tail about. I didn't even try.

Honey very well may be the cutest puppy I have ever seen. Whether she knows it or not, she won the puppy lottery - because the Trollingers are the best! Thanks y'all for hosting us.

Eventually, Honey went to bed and the Fellows spent the evening reading together and discussing Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. (If you have not read this - read it this week.)

A truly powerful evening.


Lynn speaks to the Fellows

On Wednesday, we had soup and Fritos over at Dickie and Lynn Brewers. They both shared their stories. Dickie shared about his faith and his journey into it. Lynn shared about leadership and listening to the Holy Spirit and persistence in prayer among other things.

Lynn recently retired from Young Life. She served many years on staff in Greensboro, then as Area Director in Forsyth County (she's the one responsible for me moving here!), then became the Regional Director for North Carolina before finally serving in a national role as the National Director for Discipleship. She is a treasure. It was a true joy to introduce her to the Fellows.

Sorry Bryan that I caught you in mid-bite

UNION: the Musical

It felt like I was holding the golden ticket

What a performance!

A glimpse of glory

What a night! UNION is the story told in word and song about the 1968 Sanitation Workers Strike in Memphis, TN. It is the setting for this iconic sign.

Sanitation Workers Strike 1968
Also, the setting of the assassination of Dr. King.

The performers were mostly from Memphis. Some even had roots to the actual men and women who were involved.

the Fellows did their best to control the chaos of the general admission crowd. It wasn't easy!


Bishop Sir Walter Mack

Saturday morning, we welcomed then attended the Forum on Faith and Culture at Union Baptist Church. The place was packed. The worship was hype. The speakers were passionate. And Jesus was proclaimed. WHAT AN EVENT!

Andrew, Abby, Tim, and Aly

more photos at the end...


Momentum is building. We have two more interviews this week for next year's class. We are praying hard for a yes from an invitation we extended last week.

Pray that folks who are considering applying actually apply!
Pray for wisdom as we extend invitations
Pray that we fill up with just the right folks by end of March.

Remember - you can be an answer to prayer - encourage someone to consider the Fellows today!


The crew from UNION wants you to get on the bus!
We also appreciate your financial support. Here's how:



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

Thank you. It is because of your generosity that we can accomplish this incredible mission.


David turned 10 on Saturday!


Round Table at Kalim and Paula Andraos'
Leader Lunch at the Variable with Keith Vest!
Class on Friday with Jack Wilkerson.
Last class with Rob Alexander and a luncheon with staff at SonicAire

Also! Joy Prom March 1
Get ready!

More Photos

Abby and Trent frame Andrew Miller whose future is so bright it would have exploded my camera lens had he looked into it.

Me and Mark - one of my very best and longest friends. We graduated from Penncrest High School together in 1997. On Thursday, we reconnected after far too long

Christy Williams and Chanice Withers having a moment at the Forum on Faith and Culture
Laura's fist appears to be punching Garrett

Mathu talking about Building a Foundation. So good.

Thanks y'all!

Keep spreading the word and the love!