By Pastor Hunter Johnson
About one year ago, the Youth Council met to talk about a donation that had been made to our ministry and how we would like to use it. We began throwing around ideas of how we could accomplish “kingdom work” with the money that had been given to us. As we prayed and sought guidance an amazing idea came into focus. This idea was to take an existing space in our church that had formally been deemed “unusable” and turn it into something that could reach the students of our town. This idea began to pick up steam when members of the congregation heard about what we would like to do with the basement.
Then last August our church truly amazed and humbled us when they made the “basement project” one of our Top 10 goals for the next year. They then gave money to help us increase our budget for that project through our Heritage Day offering. This donation allowed us to accomplish everything that we could ever have hoped for when it came to this project.
Over the course of the next eight months, with a little delay because of hurricane Florence, a small dedicated group of church members and our students set out to transform the dark, drab and “unusable” basement into something that brings light to our community. People came together as they gave their time and talents to help us in the project so that we could stretch the money as far as it would possibly go. It was amazing to see so many people come together to build this amazing place for not only our students here at Loris First Baptist Church, but for all students in this community. We also saw local businesses come to our aid when it came to this project by donating supplies, time, manpower and skills to complete the basement. Sherwin-Williams, located on HIghway 501 in Myrtle Beach, donated half of the paint needed to paint the ceiling and floors and for that we will be forever grateful.
Our goal and vision for this project from the beginning has been for it to be a place, a refuge if you will, for the students in our community to come and relax. To have a safe and fun environment that they can come to hang out with their friends during the long days of summer when they have nothing to do. They can enjoy playing video games, ping pong, pool, foosball and watching movies in a place where there is no judgement and where all who come will be treated as family.
So because of the work of so many, “The Underground,” was established on May 19, 2019, to be a place for students, ages 6th-12th grade, to come and spend time together, have Bible study and worship. A place where memories can be made, and a place where all are welcome, whether it is during our weekly youth Bible study at 6 p.m. on Wednesday nights, or our “Open House” times on Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1:30-4 p.m. So come on out and join us in “The Underground” and see what it is all about.