The Stories of the Upstate™ #323: (Josh Sproelstra) "I was an adrenaline junkie and daredevil as a teen."

The lead teaching pastor at Clemson's Downtown Community Fellowship, Josh Sproelstra brings our 323rd story.

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"I want to practice what I preach and preach what I practice," said Josh Sproelstra, lead teaching pastor at Clemson's Downtown Community Fellowship.  Josh told us that this idea of practicing what he preaches was the result of following the example of his professors in seminary.  He said many of his professors were also active in ministry, chaplains and pastors.  They were putting to practical use what they were teaching and this made a lasting impression on him.  Josh also told us that one of the joys he has with his ministry at Downtown Community Fellowship is that the majority of those who attend are Clemson students so he is able to bridge academia with the church.

                                                                                      To learn more, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #315: (Lauren Stephens) "I learned to spell by jumping rope."

             Lauren Stephens,  Salvation Army's Director of Social Ministries, shares our 315th story.

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Lauren Stephens, Greenville's Salvation Army's Director of Social Ministries told us, "For many marginalized people, there are multiple days in a week where no one even says their name and merely addressing them by their name is encouraging."  She says that showing people respect allows them how to use it in starting over.  Lauren told us that an encounter with a boy with holes in his shoes that she met in a Judson Community day camp when she was in college that committed her to a life dedicated to helping people.  

                                                                To learn more, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate #230: (Dr. Richard Gibbons) : "As a teen, I was in a band playing guitar and various Celtic folks instruments."

                  Story #230 comes from Dr. Richard Gibbons, pastor of Greenville's 1st Presbyterian Church.

What was the path that led Dr. Richard Gibbons from Scotland to the pulpit of Greenville's 1st Presbyterian Church?  As a teen, seeing his girlfriend and future wife's vibrant and very real faith led him to a personal relationship with Christ, which was the first step toward the ministry.  A second step was God calling him to the ministry while he was working on the Magnus Oil platform in the North Sea. A Wikipedia search of Greenville after attending a conference of Presbyterian ministers held in Charlotte, NC and feeling God might be leading him to the U.S. became a major step along his path to pastoring the flock at Greenville's 1st Presbyterian Church. Now Dr. Richard Gibbons leads three services each Sunday and ministers to his congregants in many ways from baptizing the wee ones to encouraging seniors facing cancer and so much more.  

                          To learn more about Dr. Richard Gibbons and 1st Presbyterian Church, click here.