Church gives back to local middle school

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Submitted: Mon, 09/24/2012 - 2:02am
Updated: Mon, 09/24/2012 - 12:51pm

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — For many people Sunday is a day of worship, but one local church is doing its part to ensure its message resonates long past the Sunday bells.

For over a year Heath Caddell was a pastor without a pulpit. Recently Leland Middle School gave Heath Caddell and his congregation a place to call home.

“In our heart we didn’t want to just create another church,” Caddell said. “We want to truly have an impact on our community, and that’s partly why we’re doing what we’re doing here at this middle school.”

Just as the school has adopted Reach Community Church, the church has adopted the school and made it its personal mission to ensure that the students there have a better learning environment.

“We come in and kind of clean things up,” Caddell said. “We came in and painted bathrooms. We’ve cleaned hallways, painted squares around the pencil sharpeners. Just really whatever we can do.”

Though the church is brand new, its message is already inspiring others to pitch in, as 20 volunteers drove from Chapel Hill to help renovate Leland Middle School.

Caddell and his congregation hope to plant the seed of faith one classroom at a time.

Reach Community Church meets every Sunday at 10 a.m. at Leland Middle School.


  • Guest 2020 says:

    My primary focus was on objecting to the knee-jerk negative attacks that seem to occur with increasing regularity on any ANY religious group that does anything of value in the public sector.

    An entire article was written about a selfless group of citizens, who just happen to be members of a religous organization, who were paying it forward as a thank you for use of a public building. It offends me that someone would twist the focus of that primarily into a motivativation to proselytize in the classroom.

    I guess it’s really true that “No good deed goes unpunished.”

    One more thing: A person affiliated with any type of group has every right to hope that by setting a good example, others will be interested in exploring why they feel that way, even if their feelings originate from a religious perspective. If that’s planting a seed, it’s doing it within the same parameters that are afforded to the rest of the citizens of our fair republic.

  • D says:

    A church group helping a school beautify the school property is fine, and helping out the community is a good lesson for kids to learn. Kids need to understand that the community and society need to help each other.

    However, I think the idea of “planting the seed of faith” is the problem.I’m sure the comments were innocent, and the person who made them meant no harm.

    But It is always easy to dismiss comments like those when they come from a source you agree with. In order to be fair, and test your own reasoning, try this little thought experiment.

    Imagine if a local Islamic mosque was helping out around the school, and a spokesperson for that mosque indicated they wanted to “plant the seed of faith,” around the school and in the classroom.

    How would you feel about that? Would you have still written a full throated defense of the idea of spreading faith in the classroom? Somehow I doubt it.

    Again, I’m sure the comment was made innocently, but there is already enough religious influence in schools.Helping out is one thing, spreading the faith is another.

  • D says:

    I hardly agree that religion is being suppressed in this country. In fact, religious groups are constantly trying to interject pseudo-science in the form of creationism into the classroom. They have made some headway as well. Many science teachers are afraid to teach evolution for fear of angry letters from parents,and in some cases put their jobs at risk. There is not controversy about evolution, and there is no science to creationism. Evolution is proven fact and creationism has no science supporting it. If you want that debate I’ll have it with you. No worries.

    As far as your addition to my thought experiment, I think you missed the point, but I’ll concede that perhaps I did not make it clear. But your response actually touched upon the point I was making. You mentioned how in certain areas religious majorities would feel suppressed. That is the point my friend. Religion should be entirely out of schools, and the fact other group would be angry gives credibility to the thought experiment I proposed.

    However, as I wrote, there is not a problem that a religious group volunteers. In fact I think its great. I also praised their efforts and wrote that I was sure that the remarks in question were well intended.

    Believe it or not, I do think religion has some place in the lessons in school, but only in an academic approach in social studies or literature class. Teaching comparative religion, is good for students to learn about other faiths and have a foundation for understanding other points of view and cultures. It also helps with critical thinking and higher order thinking skills, and can prompt exploration of further reading of religious texts on their own time. WHich is fine.

    anyway, if you think Christianity is being suppressed, I think that opinion is detached from reality. Further more I would fight to my last breath to maintain religious freedom in this country. I would fight for freedom of religion and freedom from religion, but I don’t see any churches being shut down. What I do see is a continued effort to interject religion in school. Again, I’m sure the comments from this group were innocent.

    Well, Im sure we are drifting into another debate, which I’d be glad to have, but I think if you read my post more carefully I mentioned that I think what the volunteers did was a good lesson for the kids. We are all in this together and need to work together. I think if anything is being suppressed, it is the notion of co-oporative work, and community partnership.

  • D says:

    Yes, and that is why it needs to be left out of public schools and laws.

    Imagine if we actually used the Bible as the foundation for laws in this country. We would not have the freedoms we enjoy today. Even just using the 10 commandments as the legal code, would be a severe threat to liberty. Never mind the much more inhumane things advocated for in the Bible.

    On the other hand separation of church and state protects religion from the government too.

  • Guestarticulatore says:

    Really John? Why is it “artistic expression” to allow dung to be smeared on a likeness of the Virgin Mary or a crucifix to be displayed in a bottle of urine??? This is called “art” and we Christian adherents have no choice but to keep our mouths shut.

    Yet, when the Muslim world is offended by a caricature of their sacred figure, they RIOT…. In and of itself, since the rioting isn’t happening in America may not be all bad, but here’s the question, where are our so-called moderate Islamic leaders speaking out or condemning the lunacy.

  • Guest 2020 says:

    They did it to say “Thanks for letting us use the building”. NO ONE went into a classroom and preached to ANY children. Period. The actions they took define specifically what they did. Period.

    If you weren’t so paranoid, you would realize that the church member who used the phrase “planting a seed” was merely hoping that by setting a good example, others might possibly explore their motivations more closely and perhaps their religious beliefs as well. Every American has the right to do that, whatever the cause. It’s actually a good thing; leading by example.

    Instead of being such a delusional nutbag, it would be nice if you simply said “Thanks for helping” and let it go.

    (By the way: Next time you decide to critique someone else’s spelling or grammar, first learn the difference between “their” and “there” or at least spell “proselytize” correctly.)

  • Alan Mason says:

    Actually their is no true science to evolution . Facts support creationism rather than darwinism . It takes more faith to believe evolution than it does creation . Never , although it has been tried , have any scientist brought life from any matter that had no life it it to start with . Yea , I will have this debate with you , only if you are willing to acknowledge the truth .

  • D says:

    Your post is so full of inaccuracies I’m not sure where to being.

    First, the theory of evolution does not attempt to explain life coming from no life, that is the study of abiogenesis, not evolution.

    So right off the bat you are not giving me any confidence you understand even the most basic components of evolution.

    Next, please explain to me your definition of “true science.”

    Do you understand science is method, not a body of knowledge? Again, you don’t seem to even understand the basics.

    But, Yes, I am willing to accept the truth. Are you?

  • Justin America says:

    I hope they paint the ten commandments, a menorah or maybe a cross while they are volunteering at the school. The children will have an opportunity to learn some real history. Now here’s evolution Vs. creation very quickly: You and I are walking in a field and we find a Rolex watch. You; “Isn’t it amazing that after millions, idk maybe billions of years, all of the elements around us randomly combined into this watch?” Me: “Shut the front door. Gimme that. I’m going to go walk with someone who has a clue.”

  • John says:

    Wow. You sir are very deluded in your intelligence. “No true science to evolution”? Really we are seeing species evolve before our very eyes. species transported to areas of the world they were not intended to live and adapting (evolving) to live there on a micro level. You say facts support creationism rather than evolution. What facts? I’m just curious. I have never heard or seen any evidence to support anything involving creationism. Thing is your utterly wrong on so many levels. We can see species evolve here on earth before our eyes, but we’ve never seen the almighty sky wizard who created us out of nothing while creating himself out of nothing… your move.

  • John says:

    This gets to the very root of the problem sir. Religion has interjected it’s views in the public arena to the point hostile tension has boiled over… it’s done it time and time again over the course of history. When will religious people realize their divisiveness is destroying to social construct of the world? If they could only keep their beliefs to themselves the world would be better off. I fear I will someday die because a religious person will come to power in a country who rivals the most prominent religion in ours, and release nuclear weapons and kill me along with their intended target… It’s always ironic how religious people can’t wait to die, while an atheist just wants to live.

  • John says:

    Sir I am a well educated individual. I have two degrees which I have earned. I served in the military, and was brought up in a southern baptist church. I know the constitution well, and you are exactly right on all of your points except for your sly remarks involving my intelligence. The parts you purposely omitted however is the fact that since government has opened the doors to all religions therefore the government cannot make a law based on one religions ideals & beliefs… which makes same sex marriage laws unconstitutional for example. The only reason community churches are allowed to have worship services in public schools is because they have to be fair to every community organization. However if you have read the laws mandated in the contracts which are public information as I have you will read that they are not to alter anything on site, and they are to remove all of their belongs from the premises between events i.e., they can’t leave crosses, hymnals, etc. since they have been given the opportunity to paint these walls they have left a lasting impression (a seed of faith) to those who are there throughout the week between their events. It’s a calculated move on the churches part, and their admission to their purpose is highlighted in the article.

  • D says:

    It was along response. A weakness of mine… So I apologize if this response is lengthy too, but you have made some inaccurate assumptions that I wont leave unchallenged.

    Your summary and analogy about the watch in the field is problematic for several reasons.

    First, you set a false premise with this analogy by suggesting that the complex inner workings of a watch, a man made non biological object, necessitates a designer in the biological world.

    Although a false premise is not necessarily a logical flaw in an argument, the false premise you used is incorrect. Complexity in man-made objects is not evidence that complexity in the biological world cannot occur naturally. In fact, we know it can. We also know the reasons why it can and does occur. Because you don’t like long responses, read up on the false argument of irreducible complexity written by a real scientist working in that field.

    Next, the logical fallacy you present is what’s called a false dichotomy. In other words, you are arguing that if one explanation is wrong, then by default the other, yours, is correct. There could be hundreds of explanations for change in species over time. Evolution is just the best explanation we have now. The evidence supporting it is overwhelming, and that is why evolution has graduated to the level of scientific theory. We have learned volumes since Darwin made his observations.

    If the theory of evolution was proved wrong tomorrow, and believe me any scientist would love to be the one who accomplishes that, it would not be evidence for creationism.

    Also, your argument assumes that because something looks designed, like the watch, this observation proves evolution to be wrong and therefore God did. It, but you have not actually given any evidence for God.

    Evolution, does not attempt to prove or disprove the existence of a God, it only explains change in species over time. It does not attempt to explain the origins of life. The field of Abiogenesis investigates the origins of life. Evolution does not. It really seems as though you do not understand what the theory of evolution actually is.

    The scientific observation in the theory of evolution is that life does in fact exist. Evolution then explains the diversity of life, and the changes in species over time, tracing them back to a single ancestor. Also, the change in species over time is very much a non-random occurrence. It is not random. The “random” part of your analogy also discredits your argument.

    Lastly, you wrote: “I hope they paint the Ten Commandments, a menorah or maybe a cross while they are volunteering at the school. The children will have an opportunity to learn some real history.” I have no idea what you mean by real history since we are discussing science, but I can only imagine you mean the Biblical explanation for life. Again, evolution does not attempt to explain how life began.

    In addition, if you had read my post, you would have noticed that I agree that religion should be studied in school as part of history, social studies and literature class. As long as the supernatural claims are presented only as claims, and not historical fact, then academic exploration of religion in school is fine.

    Although painting these symbols on the wall would be a clear violation of the 1st amendment, I argued, that comparing the beliefs of different religions builds critical thinking skills, and higher order thinking. Supernatural claims do not belong in science class. I also wrote that I would fight for freedom of religion until my last breath. I can assure you that is a fact.

  • John says:

    I know how it came about guesty… I just wish religion would stop trying to force the issue that they NEED to be included in the social laws of America. Ever since separation of church and state religion has been trying to claw there way back in. Let me go on the record saying I’m not upset that this group decided to paint the school. I’m upset that they did it to prosthelytize to children.

  • John says:

    This is where you are mistaken… Christian’s as well as all other religions have every right to practice their beliefs. No one is oppressing anyone here, it’s the simple fact that if your going to build a country free of religious persecution you also have to honor the position of those who do not practice a faith based religion. The first amendment prohibits the establishment of a state religion because it was intended for all religions to have a equal opportunity to their beliefs. The arena in which religion continuously attempts to charge forward is in the government mandated laws. Religion is always looking for an avenue for advancement in the social aspect of America. It should be kept in the homes, and the places of worship. The line was crossed here as a group has openly acted in a way to prosthelytize to children by there actions in a government funded facility.

  • John says:

    From the “style” of your comment I would have to say you need more education. Firstly, in grammar… Secondly, in US law. We have separation of church and state for a reason. You may not understand that but thats okay you can believe in what religion you wish just keep it out of the public arena.

  • D says:

    Well that was not much of a debate. lol

  • Guest 2020 says:

    (1) My education’s just fine. I wrote the post in a style I euphemistically refer to as “Mid-19th Century Rural Vernacular”. I did that because: (A) No one actually speaks that way and (B) It seemed to infer a response based more on common sense than intellectualism. If you didn’t get that, my bad.

    (2) When it comes to U.S. law as it applies to the founding fathers of our country and the Constitution you, unfortunately, don’t know your gluteus maximus from your elbow (if you even know what that means).

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” The point of the amendment was twofold. First, it ensured that religious beliefs – private or organized – were removed from attempted government control. This is the reason why the government cannot tell either you or your church what to believe or to teach. Second, it ensured that the government didn’t get involved with enforcing, mandating, or promoting particular religious doctrines. This is what happens when the government “establishes” a church – and because doing so created so many problems in Europe, the authors of the Constitution wanted to try and prevent the same from happening here. And by the way, some of the originators of those words weren’t even religious. It was all about HAVING religious liberty, not the other way around.

    YOU apparently don’t understand that. Don’t feel bad about that. That’s only because you either didn’t take the time to really study the subject or you’ve just never been competent enough to tackle the subject in the first place. That’s not you fault. You were just born that way.

    As to the business of keeping my ideas out of the public arena: I will continue to exercise my right of free speech in any arena I choose just as you have that right. Of course the difference is when you choose to exercise that right you just embarrass yourself.

  • Guest1971 says:

    Ditto – Guest2020

    Thanks for explaining the true motives to this kind of action.

  • D says:

    Perhaps we’ve not understood each others answers. I’m not attacking religion, nor was I attacking the good work of this particular group. I simply intended to remark on the comment about planting the “seeds of faith.” I began my remarks by writing that it was a good lesson for the kids. I also indicated i’m sure the remarks were well intended. None the less, the remarks can be problematic.

    I was replying to your heated remarks to the other poster. Unless I was mistaken it seemed clear that you were attacking the other persons remarks in an aggressive if not sarcastic way.

    The larger problem is the increasing influence of religion in schools, and thus the thought experiment I proposed. I think it is a relevant thought experiment.

    An example of the increasing influence of religion in schools is the pressure on science teachers to teach creationism, or at a minimum, teach the “controversy” about evolution. The reality is that no controversy exists and creationism is not science and therefore has no place in science class.

    I concede that I may have read more into your original comments than you intended, but it is true that creationists are trying to muscle their views into science class. obviously this group is not doing that. I understand that.

    Anyway my intent was not to attack the group for their good work, in-fact as I indicated I think it is a good lesson for the kids to see that it takes a community working together to fix things.

    There is an ongoing battle to interject religious dogma into the classroom. I use the word dogma, because I do think a comparative study of religions is important. As long as that line of study does not advocate for one religion over the other. In fact it is part of he standard course of study to discuss various religions, and I agree with that. As long is it is done in a academic fashion.

  • Grand Ole Party says:

    Do you know for a fact they were trying to PROSELYTIZE to children? Or do you have another case of diarrhea of the mouth?

  • Guestarticulatore says:

    D, why is it always necessary to speculate down to the concerns of what small religious group may be offended? A generous act has been offered by a group of citizens availing themselves to their right to assemble in a public place and this group of citizens wants to give something back to its host.

    Hasn’t Christianity been repressed enough to suit you?

    Here’s an expansion to your thought experiment. How do you think a Christian community would be received trying to evangelize in Dearborn MI in its majority Muslim enclave? Similarly, how do you think that an Hasidic community in any one of their stronghold enclaves would react to Christian evangelisation? I will answer my own question: the Christians would certainly be repressed.

    Separation of Church and State only prohibits the establishment of a state religion. This doctrine has been sharpened into a tool to suppress Christianity and the right to free expression of its adherents.

    There are many places for the faithful of other religions to practice their faith in these United States. Why has it become illegal for Christians to do the same?

  • guesty says:

    Many have twisted the Separation of church and state to fit their needs. The original intent was that the government could not set an “official” religion, church or practices. That came from our break from England and The Church of England being the official church. When it was put in place here, it was only to keep government from pushing one religion as the only religion.

  • Guest 10101 says:

    They VOLUNTEERED to paint the walls as a way of saying thank you for letting them use the public space. Do you think they’re painting secret subliminal messages on the walls to enthrall the minds of helpless schoolchildren. Are they going to herd all of the children into a secret spaceship and them transport them to the planet Mongo to be used as food?

    Dude ….. Get a life!

  • Grand Ole Party says:

    What makes you think we care about your problem with the situation? Do you really have to lean so far left on every issue John? Are you unable to think for yourself on anything? Such a sheep. God forbid any child find a little faith, think of the terrible consequences.

  • John says:

    Here is my problem with this situation… we are blurring the lines of separation of church and state. The law mandates that the Brunswick Co. School System can rent to community groups space for after school hours activities. It also mandates that everything the church uses for their worship services must be removed from the premises between functions… By the church having this permission to paint the walls and make the statement “Plant a seed of faith one classroom at a time”. is very troublesome…

  • D says:

    No, they are not painting subliminal messages on the walls, but the spokesperson did say this:

    “Caddell and his congregation hope to plant the seed of faith one classroom at a time.”

  • John says:

    Wow! What a nonsensical comment. If they deliberately painted these walls without permission from the Brunswick County School System that is called vandalism. They had to have obtained permission otherwise they would be in breach of there contract. The only motivation I can take from this is what the representative of the church said and that was they “want to plant a seed of faith in every classroom” which is against the law in public government run facilities. Period.

  • Guest1971 says:

    Actually the line “Caddell and his congregation hope to plant the seed of faith one classroom at a time” is the wording used by the author of the story since it is not in quotes and is not directly attributed to someone.

  • D says:

    Yes, I stand corrected. My larger point still stands, but I agree that I made that mistake. Thanks!

  • Guest3130 says:

    I sure hope they’re not ACTUALLY “planting seeds of faith” in this school’s CLASSROOMS. . .that would be very inappropriate. Keep the church COMPLETELY separate from the classrooms, please!

  • Guest 2020 says:

    Next thing ya know them kids will be planted with the idea that helping other peoples a good thing even if your getting nothing back for it. Dont want them kids believing in something like that cause then those kids might just start believing in God or something and nothings more evil than that, cept drugs cause thats just as evil.

    On them signs near schools they should be saying drug free and church people free zone. Thats gonna stop em right quick.

    Now that Im thinking about it, cant remember YOU being at any of them schools helping out for free. Ever. Guess ya just dont want to take any chances planting any stuff in them kids.

    Good thing we still got Americans like you protecting them kids from learning stuff about helping others cause then maybe they might even think some stuff about God and it just dont get any worse than that.

    Gonna try to be as great an American as you but right now Im having some trouble doing it cause Im having more than just a little bit of trouble believing in what your saying. Must have been something some church people did to me when I was in school.

  • taxpayer says:


  • Guest 10101 says:

    Maybe those other churches should get together and pool their resources to help a church that’s actually helping others in their community. If those others churches did that, they wouldn’t have to worry about competing with it.

    Sounds like YOU’RE the one being devisive.

  • willie says:

    Wow! That’s just what we needed here in Leland…another church. The enemy’s number one tool is to divide and conquer. Churches should pull together their people and resources in a spirit of unity and quit competing with one another.

  • Wilmington Observer says:

    Instead of utilizing tax dollars to have projects, half-heartedly, done by someone looking to cut corners and “save a buck” a church is volunteering to put their heart, soul, sweat and tears into improving the learning environment of the future leaders of our community. I am so sick and tired of the government taking my (tax) money and wasting it by, blindly, throwing it at the education system in hopes that it will be the answer that everyone is looking for. I am taxed to the point that I am broke. However, this story has renewed my belief that “community” instead of “taxes” is the answer to such an extent that I will be contacting Reach Community Church and sending them a donation to support their, fantastic, community efforts. WWAY….. THIS is the type of, local, story that your readers want to see on your .com instead of, irrelevant, national news copied from the national .coms!!! Bring us more of, this type, of reporting!!

    Wilmington Observer

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