Local ministry continues to serve those in need

Local ministry continues to serve those in need
September 27
09:00 2020

The Potter’s House has been a staple in East Winston for over two decades. The ministry serves the community with food, clothing and biblical teachings. With the passing of co-founder Rev. John Young in May, his wife and co-founder, Pansy, is looking to continue his legacy with her work with the Potter’s House.

The Youngs have provided ministry in the area since 1991, but started the Potter’s House ministry in 1998. Their initial goal was to assist five or six children, but ended up with a total of 17. They started out of their own home, but two years later they found a location on the 1200 block of 25th Street that fit their needs.

“We stayed over there for 10 years and during that time we had all types of programs going on,” said Pansy Young.  “It was a safe place where we kept people overnight and in 2008 the city told us we could no longer do ministry there, so we moved out.”

After the Youngs were forced to move out of their location, they set up shop at 1236 E. 25 St. and continued their work in the community.

“We continued on doing the ministry, even from that location,” she said. “We continued teaching our children, offering field trips and offering them new and exciting experiences to them and the families. It was just an exciting thing to be able to witness to the people here in the community.”

One of the biggest contributions the Potter’s House has made to the community has been their community lunch program. The Youngs felt that no one should be denied a meal, especially when there are resources in the community to help, so they stepped up to the plate.

Potter’s House provides the community lunch every third Saturday of the month, but Young also provides meals daily from their location at 1215 E. 25 St. The meals have become something the community looks forward to and relies upon.  

“I don’t think people realize how many people need things like this,” Sharonda McNeil said about the community lunches. “Some of us just need a little help every now and then, so to have somebody who is always willing to help is a blessing.”

The Youngs started their ministry to help the children in the community, but quickly realized they needed to include the entire family. Young feels if the city continues to put resources into the kids and families, the area would be a better place for all.

Young said she loves to see how the “Potter’s House kids” turn out as they mature into adults. One of the many success stories for The Potter’s House is Andrew Dinkins. Dinkins started at the Potter’s House at the age of six and is now a successful business owner and family man.

“I was one of the first kids at The Potter’s House and John and Pansy Young have been in my life almost all of my life; they are just like my parents,” said Dinkins. “I definitely feel I turned out to be who I am today because of them, both of them. The Potter’s House has made a true impact, not just for me, but also my children as well.

“They have always been a blessing and throughout my life I just want to make sure that we carry John’s and Pansy’s legacy on, because they have made a true impact and the world needs to know about it. It’s a lot of things they have done in the community that people just don’t know about.”

Dinkins says he did not have a father in the house, but Mr. Young served as a positive father figure for him.  

Anthony Bonner, The Potter’s House executive director, says the goal is to keep the Young’s vision alive and to keep all of the programs and ministries going well into the future.

“I am blessed to be the second executive director of the program and I look forward to the challenges we have and hit them head on to really make an impact on our community,” said Bonner.  

Bonner says he never heard of The Potter’s House prior to his first visit, but said he felt the “love in the room” as soon as he walked in. He says the organization has a big heart for people and the community.

Volunteers also make up a big part of the organization as well. According to Young, they would not be able to maintain all of their ministries if not for all of the willing volunteers that come out to donate their time.

“They do whatever needs to be done, so God has blessed us with people that continue to give us their time and dedication,” Young said about the volunteers. “The government hasn’t helped us do anything, the city didn’t help us do anything, God did it all and he had willing vessels that were willing to come out to help.”

Outside of feeding the community, The Potter’s House also provides personal hygiene items and clothing to the community as well. Young says she knows God is in her community and that is the reason why she is still here.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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