Editor's note: The following story is about a unique ministry of a United Methodist congregation in the Atlanta, Georgia area. If you are in need and do not live in the immediate area of McEachern UMC, check your local social service agencies or churches in your area for assistance.
Behind the sanctuary of McEachern Memorial United Methodist Church in Georgia is a different kind of church building. A large barn has been converted into a car repair shop where David McCoy and volunteers found their call to ministry. The Car Care Ministry repairs and donates vehicles to people in need in their area while also offering Christian fellowship and prayer.
(Locator: Powder Springs, GA)
Joe Mikos: "I actually know what it's like to have a vehicle that you may even be living in. And it doesn't run and you have no hope."
Joe Mikos went from living out of his car to being a mechanic. He was bedridden with cancer for 8 years, searching for a way to overcome it.
Joe Mikos: "Nothing could get me going. Just atrophying--physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually."
Every day brought new hardships and little motivation to recover until the day he met David McCoy.
David runs a United Methodist car care ministry in Powder Springs, Georgia. He and other volunteers give away an average of 30 cars each year and fix vehicles for those in need. Those physical repairs often heal broken spirits too.
Joe Mikos: "It was a simple power steering pump job, and I just couldn't do it. I couldn't lift the part. Somebody told me about the car care ministry, so I brought my truck here and I was sitting in the office. I came out and held a wrench here and there. That literally probably saved my life."
Joe found himself coming in regularly to watch the repairs and now, he is part of the core team at the car care ministry.
David McCoy: "We're not only providing mechanical service, but I think we're providing peace of mind. We're providing a hand up. Jesus said in Matthew 25 'I was hungry and you fed me. I was sick and you came to visit.' My car was broken down and you fixed it. I'm not sure he said that, but there's a need. And we're instructed by Christ to help meet that need."
The repair shop, located behind the sanctuary of McEachern Memorial United Methodist Church, offers its own kind of sanctuary. Women like Rebecca McCoy help the ministry by praying with the customers and carefully deciding who will receive the donated cars.
Rebecca McCoy: "We pray as a group, the customers and the workers. Sometimes we have people who come back because very little is wrong with their car. They just want the fellowship. And sometimes this is the only church some of these folks get."
Joe Mikos: "I know what's it like to have no hope. I just empathize with these people, and that just motivates me to get their cars in and get 'em done."
What started in 2002 as a place to fix engines has turned out to be a place that fuels spirituality, says associate pastor Dorcas Rodriguez.
The Rev. Dorcas Rodriguez: "Everywhere you go all you hear is just the people that have been impacted. They're amazed. They're like, 'Why are you doing this? Why are you giving me this car?' I said, 'Well, this is what God has put in our hearts.' You feel the love of God in this place."
TagFor more information or to volunteer to help, contact the Car Care Ministry at McEachern United Methodist Church by calling 770-943-3008 x1254. A note that if you are in need and do not live in the immediate area of McEachern UMC, it would be best to check your local social service agencies or churches in your area.
This video was first posted on June 7, 2017.