East Stonewall AME Zion Church
Address: 1729 Griers Grove Road, Charlotte
Denomination: AME Zion
Pastor: The Rev. Michael E. McLean (Since 2005)
Sunday: 11 a.m.
Bible Study: Wednesday 10:30 a.m., 7 p.m.
Q: What makes your church unique?
In my opinion, what makes East Stonewall unique is that it is a moderate-sized church. It’s not too big, and it’s not too small. And it’s a congregation where everybody knows everybody, and there’s a strong sense of family and a strong sense of camaraderie that exists within the congregation. It’s that kind of atmosphere that causes the church to be in harmony. We enjoy one another and we have a good time on Sundays, and it’s a blessing.
Q: What is the church’s vision?
Our vision is that we want to provide for the community in which we exist an opportunity to share the love of Christ, by way of worship, by way of meeting needs of the community, such as family issues and educational issues. We have an afterschool program. We have a summer camp program. So we try to address things that will involve the community in such a way that it will meet their needs. And that’s our mission for the church to go out and share the healing grace of Christ and make his life known through our actions.
Q: What are the church’s beliefs?
We’re biblically based. We believe that God’s word is ultimate truth. We are governed through the denomination of African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. We are faithful to the AME Zion Church’s mission, and that is to win the world for Christ.
Q: What ministries and programs are offered?
We have a powerful service on Sunday morning. We have Bible study on Wednesdays. We have our missionary department. It is a group of women who go out and minister in various ways in the community. We’ve got Christian education, where we do a lot of training for our young people, particularly, and for the congregation as a whole. We have a men’s ministry that meets on Saturdays. We talk and discuss issues pertaining to what’s going on with men. We’ve got one of the largest Girl Scout groups in this area. In fact, it’s so large they couldn’t meet up at the church anymore; they meet at the YMCA around the corner. We have an afterschool program entitled R.A.P. — Raising Academic Performance. And during the summer we run a summer camp program.
Q: What are the greatest strengths of the church?
It’s a focused church. When I say focused, the things we attempt to do as a congregation, we are on one accord, and we get it done. If there’s something that needs to happen, the congregation comes together to make sure it happens, whether it’s a community crisis or whether it’s some initiative that the church is putting together. For example, right now we are in the process of building. The project is a $1.3 million dollar project. We’re building a family life center, and the congregation just pulls together. They stay focused on what their goals and objectives are.
Q. How do you foster spiritual growth for individuals in the church?
By encouraging them to participate in the means of grace. Being a part of the ministry. Getting involved, not just by coming to church on Sunday morning, but get involved with some of the activities that are going on in the church. Get involved with some of the organizations of the church, all the ministries that we have. Just getting involved.
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