Welcome Our Newest College Coordinator Intern Emily Lawrence!

Hello my name is Emily Lawrence. Most of you know me but for those of you who do not I will fill you in. I am a seventeen year old girl who has lived in Wingate my entire life, I grew up here with my amazing church family by my side. I am now a senior at the Central Academy of Technology and Arts and I plan on pursuing a degree and a career in communications after I graduate. This summer I was hoping to start working, mainly to gain some experience before I step into the real world on my own. Thankfully, after my mom put word out on Facebook, Pastor Tracy contacted her to tell her about this internship. Needless to say this internship has provided me with a ton of amazing experiences. Not only do I get to work but I am so blessed to work with such brilliant people. I am so excited to be able to help and grow closer to my church family while also gaining some experience in the work field.


Need a Safe Place? We are Here for You!

With the sad and tragic news of two high profile suicides, our heart aches for all who struggle with Mental Health. We are a community of faith that listens and responds with compassion. We provide a safe place for all to come and share the burdens of life. We work toward curing the stigma of Mental Health and offer God’s love to all who reach out for help. No one needs to struggle alone! We care! Please know that if you are at a time in your life where you need help we are here for you!

Welcome Gabby our New College Coordinator

Wingate UMC is fortunate to have two College Coordinator’s this summer! We welcome Gabby who will work alongside our current College Coordinator Katie Edwards. What a blessing it will be to see the amazing ministry and mission of these two dedicated Wingate University students!

My name is Gabrielle Dina Fleurisma. I was born and raised in Christian family in Haiti with two wonderful parents and three incredible siblings. I am the second child of four. I am currently attending Wingate University studying finance and minoring in accounting. I would love to use my finance skills to help others be self sustainable through entrepreneurship. I love the Lord, education, my family, and food. I also enjoy working out, reading, and traveling. The one thing that keeps me awake at night is my thought about the things I should do to leave the world a better place for next generation.

Wondering What to Place in the Blessing Box at Wingate UMC?

The Best Things to Donate to a Food Pantry Are…


More than ever, Americans are depending on their community’s social services to make ends meet. Stagnant wages and outsourcing of jobs overseas is causing economic instability for many. When unemployment assistance runs out and the heavily-slashed food stamps program can’t cover a family’s needs, many turn to food pantries in their neighborhoods.

If you want to donate to your local food bank in a way that makes a huge difference, purchase items that are always needed and short on supply.


Of the three nutritional cornerstones of carbs, proteins, and fats, protein is by far the most difficult to come across, especially in a shelf-stable form which takes up less of limited fridge space. Food banks can always use canned meats like tuna or chicken. Nut butters like peanut or almond are great options. Beans are a versatile form of protein, too!


We all have those days where we just don’t want to cook or put a lot of thought into how the ingredients in the fridge can combine into a decent meal. Both of these points are especially true for those who depend on food banks to feed themselves and their families. They’re often overworked and underpaid, and sometimes the random assortment of what’s available at the food bank that week doesn’t lend itself to a cohesive meal.

Meals in a can or box can help. Things like soup, stew, chili or mac and cheese boxes that contain a pre-made cheese sauce (not the type that requires additional milk or butter) are great options. These are quick and easy to make while still feeling like a complete meal.


For many, kids especially, breakfast means a bowl of cereal. By providing low-sugar options, you’re helping them get off to a great start. Cereal is also especially portable and doesn’t need any preparation to be enjoyed. It’s easy to fill a plastic bag full of cereal and throw it in a backpack or purse as a snack for later.


Check the label and make sure that “juice” isn’t actually filled with high fructose corn syrup and other unhealthy fillers and chemicals.

Single servings are the best because they are the most portable which makes them perfect for school lunches, but any size so long as it’s actual juice will be greatly appreciated.


Canned food is the go-to for any food pantry, but even in this section, there are ways to improve your donation.

For vegetables, try to select low-sodium options. For fruit, choose brands that are canned in juice rather than syrup. Those minor changes can have a big impact on the health of the people who receive your donations!


Have you ever taken a can of soup to work only to realize at lunch time your office doesn’t have a can opener? Imagine what that must feel like for people who depend on a food bank but don’t have the ability to open the cans they’re given. Talk about frustrating.

This small consideration can make life ten times easier for the receiver of your donation. Choose pop-tops whenever you can!


It’s hard to make a meal that appeals to the taste buds without a little oil and spices. Consider donating healthy oils like olive oil, which is a kitchen staple. And spices like garlic powder, salt, pepper, and onion powder (just to name a few!) can really transform a meal from bland and basic to terrific and tasty!


Having a baby can be especially difficult for families hit hard by bad economic luck. Consider including things especially for baby in your donation like diapers, baby food, and formula. These are important things for a new family to have, but are often forgotten!


Toilet paper. Toothpaste. Paper towels. Soap. Shampoo and conditioner. Deodorant. These are things everyone needs, but these necessities aren’t usually covered by food stamps. Giving personal hygiene items can really help people’s dollars go further.

Next time you’re out shopping for those less fortunate in your community, this list will definitely come in handy.

Welcome to Smyrna/Wingate UMC’s Duke Divnity Intern Darwin Perry

Through the generosity of the Rural Church Division of the Duke Endowment, based in Charlotte, NC, Darwin Perry joins us in mid May as a placement in our Endowment-eligible church. Darwin Perry will be joining Duke Divinity school as a graduate student this upcoming fall. Darwin currently holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Philosophy and African American Studies from Grand Valley State University. His areas of research interest are Prison reform and Church in community engagement. Darwin’s current research explores the lineage of mass incarceration withal its social, political, and racial ramifications for people of color. His research has led him to publish multiple articles and present at various professional and scholarly conferences. He is currently working with Dr. Dwayne Tunstall for an upcoming publication focused on the interrelationship between prison-life and recidivism. Before joining Duke Divinity School, Darwin worked on collegiate policy reforms as a student senator and started a campus ministry entitled The Bridge. Darwin enjoys spending time outdoors. His favorite hobbies include playing golf and taking long walks on the beach.