• The WATeR Program, which operates each Wednesday during the school year and offers tutoring, homework help, Bible study and a meal to area children.• Grandfather Home, supported by Waverly Road Presbyterian members for many years, is a ministry that provides love and healing to more than 600 children and youth each year.
• 5 cents a Meal, a program to help alleviate hunger by allowing people to donate once a month during Sunday worship the change they collect at home.The church also supports several world missions — the Annapurna Panchakanya Primary School in Nepal; Osman Hope in Honduras; and missionaries in the Congo and Japan.The Waverly Road Child Care Center opened in 1952 and provides care to children between the ages of 6 weeks and 5 years old. The church hosts a Parent’s Night Out for parents in the congregation as well as those who use the Child Care Center. The church has hosted Boy Scout Troop 255 since 1954, and has built three houses in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. A Stephen Ministry congregation, Waverly Road Presbyterian has trained lay caregivers to provide one-to-one Christian care to people who are bereaved, hospitalized, terminally ill, separated, divorced, unemployed, relocated, and others facing transitions and life challenges.
“We’ve also had concerts on the lawn for the neighborhood. We live in the middle of a lot of unchurched people,” said Jack Lowe, who joined the church with his family in 1982.Like other churches, Waverly Road’s congregation is older, and the numbers of young members has dwindled. Rachel Lawson was baptized at Waverly Road Presbyterian and joined the church in 1983. After college in Mississippi, she and her husband lived in Memphis, but both wanted to return to Kingsport and raise their children in their home church. Lawson became the children’s ministry coordinator in 2012 and she serves as an assistant in the music department.“I believe this is the perfect place to raise children. It’s just getting the word out,” she said.Lowe joined the congregation because he was impressed with the actions of one particular member — Jo Morrison — and with the activities of the church.“I like the type of worship we do here. We have a traditional worship service. I like our strong Christian education program. I especially like that the importance of being a Christian is not only loving God, but loving your neighbor,” Lowe said. “Plus, it’s a very friendly church.”Susan and Pete Lodal arrived at Waverly Road Presbyterian in 1988. “We felt very much that God led us to this church. I liked the church’s involvement in the Ulster Project and that women can be in a leadership position,” Susan Lodal said.The church has had a number of female associate ministers, elders and deacons, and the clerk of the session position is often held by women.
Susan served as director of children’s ministry from 1989 to 2002, and Pete was the food pantry director in 2012.
The congregation works to share its mission statement with others: “Love God. Love Others. Make Disciples.”If we could just get the message across. ... We’re a hospital for sinners,” Lowe said. “We take people as they are, give them an opportunity to worship God and be a part of our family.”
“The main emphasis is to help people have a relationship with Christ,” Clark added.Waverly Road Presbyterian Church, located at 1415 Waverly Road in Kingsport, offers Sunday school for all ages beginning at 9:45 a.m., followed by worship service at 11 with nursery provided. For more information, call 247-5121.