Orchard is not just an organization, it’s a movement of people who want to see a world where Christ is known by the actions of His followers.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Terrell: I am originally from Huntsville, Alabama. I’m a graduate of the University of Alabama and I’ve lived in Atlanta for 24 years. My wife Kristen and I have been married for 12 years, and we have three children. I am currently employed in corporate communications with Southern Company, and Kristen serves as the CFO at United Way of Greater Atlanta.
How did you first hear about Orchard?
Terrell: Orchard’s founder, Dan Hayes, spoke at my church in the late ’90s ( I don’t recall Dan’s sermon topic, but he talked a bit about Orchard, which was then known as Atlanta Community Ministries.
What attracted you to the mission of Orchard?
Terrell: I was immediately attracted to the aspects of community engagement and personal ministry. I have long felt that far too many Christ-followers live in a “Christian bubble,” with their social interaction limited primarily to other Christians. The mission moved me to become involved first as an Orchard Partner, co-founding a ministry. A few years later, I joined the board, where I have served for more than 20 years.
How does Orchard address the issues most important to you?
Terrell: The needs of our communities are numerous. Most critically, our communities need the gospel. When we serve others, we earn the right to be heard, and the love of Christ is manifested. As Christians, we often see a need and think, “My church should do something about that!” We tend to envision a formalized response in which our churches hire staff or start a new program to address that need.
Orchard, On the other hand, has embraced the power of “lay ministry” — the idea that any of us can make a meaningful difference if we leverage our God-given gifts, talents, and resources. When we do this, we become more fully integrated and involved in our communities, and Christ is exalted. Orchard provides training and coaching needed to help our over 50 partners do just that!
Why do you think other people should support Orchard?
Terrell: Orchard is unique in that it is the only organization I know of that supports the critical concepts of lay ministry and community involvement. I believe these to be significantly neglected facets of the Christian experience. And in a society that is increasingly hostile to the Christian worldview, acts of service on behalf of an unbelieving world are becoming an ever-more important part of our witness for Christ. I believe Orchard is uniquely positioned to address this gap, as our organization supports more than 50 diverse Partners who address some of the most pressing issues of our time – racial injustice, hunger, at-risk mothers, and more.