Partners In Ministry: Instilling A Hands Up Approach To Life

December 2020

For individuals struggling to meet the basic needs of food, clothing and housing, finding success in school and life may seem like an uphill battle.  Many facing these economic hardships are at risk for a wide range of effects including hunger, poor academic achievement and repeating the cycle of poverty.  Recognizing the existence of these issues in her rural community of Laurinburg, North Carolina, Dr. Melba McCallum, Executive Director at Partners In Ministry created a platform that would empower under-served individuals by allowing them to become self-sufficient through a hands up approach. 

When Dr. McCallum and her husband relocated to Rockingham from her hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, she immediately noticed the community's lack of resources.  This was unlike her upbringing where church and community were at the forefront of everything.  It didn't take long for Dr. McCallum to embrace her ministry.  Instead of focusing on what the community didn't have, she made it her mission to create it.  After retiring from a community college in 2005, Dr. McCallum answered her call from God to bring the elements of church and community together, founding Partners In Ministry.  Dedicated to improving the lives of youth, families and adults in Richmond, Scotland and Robeson Counties, the organization's programs provide enrichment and support to the communities they serve by focusing on the three key areas of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Housing and Home Repair Ministry, and Community Resource and Referral Ministry.  The idea is that recipients of the programs will build themselves up and in turn, volunteer to help others.

The data is impressive:

  • 4,679 young adults have graduated through Youth Empowered to Succeed (YES) programs 

  • 353 mission teams have been deployed to provide urgent home repairs to impoverished housing

  • More than 3,500 families have been served through their food pantry

With an increasing number of members and volunteers, the organization continues to grow. Partners In Ministry launched their first capital campaign in 2019 to create a facility that would expand its services to the community.  It was during this time that PMA Consulting stepped in to help. "It's been helpful having a consultant walking along beside us to make this happen.  The expertise a consultant brings to the table helps us to grow.  It's not just about a building, but the long-term sustainability," states Dr. McCallum.  "The relationship has been very positive.  We would not be where we are today if it had not been for the support and the time of PMA."     

Dr. McCallum appreciates seeing the community take advantage of the opportunities her organization presents, many of which include renovating dilapidated houses.  "We think we're blessing them, but they have truly blessed me," she says.