Collar Bell-Graves is an Associate Minister, Sunday School Teacher, and Director of Christian Education at Center Baptist Church in Gastonia, N.C.
She is a student at the Gardner-Webb School of Divinity, where she is studying to receive a master’s degree in divinity with a focus on Christian Education.
By Collar Bell-Graves
Student.Church Summer Intern at Palmetto Works
I am serving virtually this summer at Palmetto Baptist Missionary Church in Conway through CBF’s Student.Church program. Cheryl Adamson, pastor of the church and director of CBFSC covenant partner Palmetto Works, is my supervisor and mentor and I am also working under the direct supervision of Associate Pastor Katrina Reeves.
As an intern, I am involved in the development of their Summer Camp and Afterschool Curriculum, and am responsible for creating and writing the Parent/Student Handbook for Palmetto Works. I will be assisting Katrina with the virtual summer camp. I thank God for making room for my gifts and the opportunity to work with the youth.
I will also create two devotions addressing systemic racism and Covid-19 for the BeachWalk Circle Sisters, an auxiliary of Palmetto Baptist Missionary Church.
My experience in the virtual environment from my home in Gastonia has been positive and encouraging. However, it does create a barrier in terms of building meaningful relationships with the youth. Serving in a virtual environment requires discipline, balance, and thinking outside the box. It involves learning new technology and using creativity to keep engagement and participation.
As I move forward in the direction God will have me to go, I am aligning my plans with His plans for my life. Whether it be a pastor of a congregation or the Director of Christian Education, I will do as the Lord will have me to do.
Student.Church provides congregational internships to students who are interested in a deeper experience of church life or pursuing a call to ministry. Interns are mentored by seasoned ministers as they explore the breadth of congregational ministry through a variety of learning experiences.
My encounter with CBF Student.Church was through a mutual friend, who had interned in Canada and shared her transformational story and experiences. I was immediately drawn in and wanted to be a part of an organization that focuses on building Christlike communities through missions that lead to a positive impact on society.