Executive Director, Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry
Reverend Scott Rogers, executive director of Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM), says there are enough heartwarming stories about ABCCM and the impact the organization has on individuals to fill a whole series of books like Chicken Soup for the Soul.
“ABCCM saves lives, and hearing from a homeless person, or a frail elderly person that was freezing, or a clinic patient, ‘You saved my life!’ is very powerful and meaningful,” says Rogers. “ABCCM transforms lives, and seeing persons get a second chance, reach their dream job or dream home, or have a year or two of sobriety and restored families is priceless. Creating opportunities for the hundreds of volunteers and their churches to become involved in a life of service that saves and transforms lives is the greatest honor and joy of my life.”
Rogers is an ordained minister in the Christian church, having served in the pulpit for six years. He is a licensed marital and family therapist in North Carolina and a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. He has a B.A. in church growth and world missions from Lincoln Christian University, Lincoln, Illinois; and a Master’s Degree from the University of Illinois at Springfield in human development counseling. He has been in human services for 43 years—the last 36 with ABCCM—having worked with Goodwill Industries and Lutheran Family Services before coming to Asheville. He and his wife were also house parents for a juvenile girl’s home.
The most influential person in his life is, according to Rogers, “Jesus the Christ. There is nothing about His life, His words and works that are not worthy of trying to emulate. My father told me shortly after taking this job that he was worried about me. When I asked ‘Why’, he said, ‘Boy, you aren’t that smart!’ ‘What should I do?’ I asked. He gave me the best advice of my career: ‘Always find people smarter than you and surround yourself with them.’ Jesus has shaped me and blessed me through hundreds of brilliant, dedicated, passionate people who are church leaders, business leaders, community leaders, staff, salt of the earth volunteers, and neighbors who have surrounded my life.”
“Always find people smarter than you and surround yourself with them.”
ABCCM is church-owned and operated, so funding is primarily from 281 congregations of all denominations and faith groups. The organization has more than 6,000 trained volunteers. Over the last five years the organization averaged serving around 48,000 unique men, women, and children’s lives, or about 16,000 households each year. Areas of service include: the Crisis Ministry, which has four locations around the county providing emergency assistance to individuals and families; Homeless Services, which is made up of two transitional housing facilities (the Veterans Restoration Quarters for men and the Steadfast House for women and children); Veterans Services of the Carolinas; the Medical Ministry, which is a partnership between Mission Hospital and ABCCM where they care for the uninsured in Buncombe County; and the Jail Ministry, which provides inmates with new meaning and direction.
On a personal level, Rogers spends time in prayer, reflection, and reading. The core of his family’s memory-making involves being on the water—fishing, skiing, swimming, and boating.
“‘Commit your life to the Lord and He will direct your path,’ is what my Mom wrote in my high school year book,” says Rogers. “Set reasonable goals and follow through; evaluate your progress regularly, and be flexible enough to change direction if needed and strong enough to stay the course until each goal is attained—then set new goals.”
ABCCM’s mission is based on the Scripture in Matthew 25 when believers are confronted with questions about how their life was spent: When did you feed the hungry, visit those in prison, care for the sick, or take in the stranger – then hearing that when and if they did these things, they were doing them to The Lord. (Full mission statement at ABCCM website.)
There are two parts to our budget: $6 million in cash and $14 million in-kind for about $20 million a year. The in-kind gifts include food, medicine, clothes, household and furniture items, and professional services (such as medical and dental).
Number served annually
One in five in Buncombe County— around 48,000 unique men, women, and children, or about 16,000 households each year.
how do you get funding?
Primarily from congregations and volunteers (75%), plus 25% from public/government sources.
Year nonprofit was founded?
1978 (next year will be 40)
Most of ABCCM Ministries serve the Asheville-Buncombe County area. Our veteran services cover 26 counties, from Charlotte to Murphy and Boone to Tryon.
List of board members with titles
Reverend Gerald Davis
Reverend Gary Coffey
Secretary: Julie Singleton
Treasurer: Bob Rogers
Crisis & Ministry Representatives
Reverend Dr. Joe Yelton
Dr. Andrew Kane
Reverend Calvin Hailstock Reverend Samantha Gonzalez-Block
Reverend Karen Kurtz
George Pfeiffer Jr.
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