Since everything rises and falls on leadership, it’s no wonder that Sky View Missionary Baptist Church lives up to its mission-focused name. Led by a pastor who has a servant’s heart and a desire to serve the Fancy Gap community, Sky View is making a difference with the love and power of the Gospel.
Pastor Wendell Horton had been praying over the idea of adopting the local elementary school, so when church member Judy Williams approached him with a desire to serve the community through the church, he knew it was time to take action.
With the church’s support, Judy was ready to make a difference in the lives of the students at Fancy Gap Elementary School. But when she first reached out to the school, Sky View was only given a few things to do—some yard work and taking care of a memorial garden. Eventually, they were allowed to come into the office to help make copies for teachers. As the volunteers served in the school, they looked for needs and prayed for opportunities to further serve the students and staff. It wasn’t long before they were able to begin providing food to go home with students in need. Then they were able to provide a clothes closet and school supplies from the church family at Sky View. Strong relationships aren’t made overnight, and it’s taken eight years to build the relationship to the point that the school now asks the church for help.
With the school’s reading program struggling, Judy went to work organizing the Volunteer Readers Program. Church members spend time each day with students, assisting them with reading and allowing students to read to them. This program has had such a positive impact on the students’ reading levels, that the Carroll County School Board recognized the Sky View Missionary Baptist Volunteer Readers Program with a certificate of appreciation for their work and positive impact on the students at Fancy Gap Elementary School.
Before this school year began, Judy had volunteers ready to help the teachers decorate their classrooms and prepare for the first day of school. Sky View volunteers are on the
front lines, greeting students in the car line, helping cover morning bus duties, making copies, and volunteering in the reading program.
One of the reasons these volunteers make such an impact is the joy they have in serving. Over the course of eight years with approximately 20 volunteers each week, Judy and the folks from Sky View have a genuine joy in being a part of the school.
“Fancy Gap Elementary is very blessed to have them for the children’s benefit, and it is heartwarming to see the effect on students,” says Dr. Jeanne Edwards, the school’s principal.
In fact, the school secretary, Tinsell Fink, says she doesn’t know what they would do if it weren’t for the volunteers from Sky View. “They keep
the school running.”