A Decade of Family Mission Trips

by Becky Caswell-Speight, Minister of Families and Faith Formation

In the fall of 2013, our brand-new lead pastor, Chris George, approached then Interim Family Minister, Emily Holiday, with the idea of hosting a weekend mission trip for families. She, along with Tim Adcox, then our minister of missions, along with our ministry intern, Alice Horner Nelson and the volunteer team led by Teri Moore brought the trip to life. The first team stayed at a large cabin in Montreat, NC, and served by cleaning a domestic violence shelter in Asheville and caring for the families there.  

By the second year, the family mission trip had grown, filling the available number of spaces within 24 hours, and had outgrown the housing arrangement. A search began for new locations. Each following year, we found new locations as our group expanded.  

Our family mission trips have taken place in North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee as we served alongside many great ministries in those areas. Traditions during the trips—like Amanda Coe Burton’s guacamole and children ditching their parents to hang with other families—have generated laughter, brought smiles, and created lifelong memories for all who have attended. 

But some child, as we pack up, will always ask, “Why can’t we all just live together all the time?” causing the adults to both laugh and pack up a little faster.  It indicates how important it is for all our families to see that serving is most meaningful when done in community.  

Mission Trip creators Alice Horner Nelson and Emily Holladay once said, “The Family Mission Trip is a very beautiful and rare thing to witness.” Both of these, who are now leading their own congregations, recognized the strong impact of missions which involves whole families within the church family.  It has been a gift and something that is difficult to replicate in congregations outside Smoke Rise Baptist. 

While these trips have grown and evolved over the last 10 years, Family Mission Weekend continues to gather families for 72 hours to worship together, to care for one another, to serve God, to learn from one another, and to give to communities outside of our regular living spaces. All of us who have participated are stronger because of it.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This