The Bethesda House for single mothers began only as a vision by local pastor, the Rev. Earl J Spivey Jr. He said he felt God led him to help single mothers and expectant mothers in the area. He followed the calling and retired as a pastor in 2014 after more than 20 years at the pulpit.
He described the Bethesda House as a home for single mothers and parental disciple-makers, part of his Great Commission Christian Ministries. Spivey is a lifetime resident of Loris and well known for his Christian kindness and service to the community. As he settled on his family farm he began plans for the two homes to be renovated for this project. He said, “The Lord led me to focus my attention toward single mothers. The focus was to give them a better future for themselves and their children.” He wanted the mothers to choose a future using Christian values.
After an application is presented for residency in the homes, the young ladies work toward finishing their education, establish a vocation or career to meet the needs of their children. The mothers that are in most need of the program are the ones who depend upon the government for help. Spivey feels that often leads to permanent dependency.
Once largely limited to poor women and minorities, single motherhood is now becoming the new normal, with about two-thirds of babies being born to mothers under 30 years old. Of all single parent families in the U.S., single mothers make up the majority.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, out of 12 million single parent families in 2013, more than 80 percent were headed by single mothers. Today, one in three children, a total of 15 million, are being raised without a father, and nearly half live below the poverty line.
Spivey said, “There is where God placed this ministry upon my heart. He gave me the passion and began to show me the real possibility. I could take a leap of faith by resigning from pastoring and take two existing houses and six acres of land given me by inheritance and invest it all in Christ’s kingdom work.” The future plan is to build more homes to gradually move the mothers to begin to become responsible for the daily costs of living.
The ladies are taught how to plan ahead starting with simple tasks such as planning the week’s meals and budgeting their money. They learn the right way to discipline their children and more on a beginner level.
Bethesda Home for Single Mothers is a community of houses hosting a housemother.
Units for single mothers with several children will be available for more private dwelling. With the financial relief and resolved stress of a place to live the mothers can refocus their lives on working toward a better future. With Christ as their foundation and the Bible as their manual they will be able to start building godly homes and a stable environment for their children. With the others’ help they can begin breaking free from poverty and lead their children in living productive and God honoring lives within our society.
Bethesda Home for Single Mothers provides the help needed to break the cycle of poverty and reawaken the dreams and God-given potential in those once lost in despair. It is where God’s Sonlight awakens the dormant plants so flowers can once more bloom to His glory.
The four mothers who are living at Bethesda are thriving in the Christian environment and leadership of Spivey and volunteers. The young ladies keep a tidy home and work together as a family and they lead a lifestyle that benefits them with respect. The four young mothers have battled hardships with addiction and are in programs to help them thrive and continue to turn away from the lifestyle that would have negative impact on them and their children.
Each Sunday afternoon a group from a local church visits and gives lessons, worship and prayer. On Sunday, Dec. 22, the Wampee Baptist Church members came bringing gifts for the families and to spend time expressing God’s love for the mothers and their children. Each week a different church visits on Sunday to share a Christian message.
Spivey said, “Our effort is to educate, train and equip the essential foundation of faith in Jesus Christ. A faith that gives us direction, courage, wisdom and peace to live for eternal joys rather than momentary pleasures. This is a spiritual place. It is where God touches the desperate with His miraculous power.”
Spivey said there are many ways the community can get involved, including praying for godly house parents. “We always need financial gifts to meet needs,” he said, “the cost of each person staying in the homes is approximately $250 a month.”
Spivey’s vision is to keep the mothers in the Bethesda House for a total of four years to give them an opportunity to continue to build their education, build confidence, learn to budget time and money and to find work. After the four year period ends, Spivey’s plan is to build a community of homes on the six-acre property where the mothers can pay rent and bills, purchase a car and have the support necessary to move forward.
The home is filled with laughter of children ages three months to four years old and they play and eat together as a family. One mother said that she has been forever grateful for this opportunity, with raising twins it is felt the world would have been too much for her to succeed on her own. Another mother has had her license suspended due to alcohol abuse. She has worked to regain self-respect and honor the oath she took when she became a nurse; after attending meetings and counseling she feels she will be given a second chance. These mothers work together, encourage one another and when one hits a milestone in their vice they celebrate the accomplishment.
Spivey has been available to counsel the young ladies; he lives down the road from the homes and is available when they need him. One volunteer, Cindy, has an office at one of the homes and is there to help the girls along their journey.
The Bethesda House has been a success with mothers who are sure they are going to make it to the end and be a better person for the experience.
Bethesda Home for Single Mothers is a ministry focused on making godly mothers who live self-sufficiently and raise godly children in stable and secure homes.
Our target group is crisis pregnancy mothers and at-risk single mothers. Contact Spivey at (843) 756-2564, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to P.O. Box 188, Loris, S.C. 29569.