PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Youth of Freedom and Liberty Worship Center (FLY) is joining the effort to reduce youth tobacco use with help from a grant the “Right Decisions, Right Now” program funded by Reynolds American Inc.
The $1,000 grant was contributed through a program that enables employees to request funds from their employer to bring awareness of tobacco use to the youth of local community organizations.
John M. Wertman, a senior scientist for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, recommended the grant for the Freedom & Liberty Youth. Wertman said, “FLY is such an incredible youth program and this grant helps to reach even more youth of the surrounding community.”
Ellick M. Johnson, youth leader of FLY, said the youth group plans to use the funds from the grant for their annual summer camp.
During the three-day summer camp, the youth group typically goes zip-lining near Hanging Rock State Park, canoeing, swimming or scavenger hunting, according to Johnson. “We base our days around Bible lessons, while also having fun.”
The cost of the camp is around $100 per kid, “We try not to have any of the kids put in any money, and that’s why this grant is so helpful,” said Johnson.
“Last year we had about 35 to 40 kids participate.”
In the past the church asked the community to sponsor a kid to send to camp. “We hope the camp helps to keep the kids out of potential trouble.”
Freedom & Liberty Worship Center is located off Highway 52 in Pilot Mountain. The church was founded in 2012 by Eddie Sawyers, senior pastor.
Since the church’s inception, there has been a vibrant youth program according to Johnson.
“We empower our youth to understand the meaning of grace, God’s unmerited favor for each of them. They are taught to understand who they are in Christ and not what the world tells them they are. With this grant, we have more opportunity to reach the kids of our community, to show them God’s undying grace, mercy and love.”