FPC Missions: Operation Christmas

843.448.4496 for more information.

Get in the Spirit by helping bring Christmas to local families in need! Operation Christmas, co-sponsored by the Youth Ministry and Mission Ministry Teams, has become a tradition at FPC and is one of the largest local mission projects. FPC will adopt children in the Myrtle Beach community whose families need help providing gifts at Christmas.


Each December, we will have a First Presbyterian Store at our Grissom Campus where our adopted families will be invited to “shop” with the help of a “personal shopper.” Of course, there is no charge for their selections. While parents are “shopping,” their children will be entertained in the Great Hall with games, crafts, refreshments, and a visit from Santa.


Santa’s Helpers (adults & youth) are needed to make purchases to stock our store, help set up the FPC store, prepare for our Christmas party, entertain our adopted children at the party, and serve as “personal shoppers’ or gift wrappers.”


Monetary Gifts to the Christmas Fund are needed to provide Santa’s Helpers with the resources to bring Christmas to these children (100-150 children are anticipate this year and the average expenditure is $100/child). Gifts may be given in honor of friends, business associates, and loved ones. Acknowledgements will be sent to you and to the honoree.

THORNWELL: Our Presbyterian Ministry to Children & Families

CLICK HERE to visit the Thornwell website.

In 1875, Thornwell Orphanage was founded by Dr. William P. Jacobs and First Presbyterian Church of Clinton, SC, to provide a home for children who had lost parents during the Civil War and Reconstruction in the South.  The ministry was supported by Presbyterians in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.  It remains the only Presbyterian-related ministry to children and families in the three states, and continues to be supported by the prayers and gifts of Presbyterians and their churches.  It is a ministry of which we truly can be proud.


In recent years, the environment for ministry to children and families has changed dramatically.  Legislative mandates and regulatory requirements have altered the landscape of this work.  That is why, today, Thornwell is much more than a home for children.  It provides a broad range of services to children and families.  There is still the residential care for children who have been abused or who come from broken families.  Since 2012, Thornwell has developed a Building Families ministry in 14 communities across the three states to provide in-home intervention and training to keep families together. In 2016 it launched Strengthening Families, a prevention-oriented program to teach parents and children how to have healthier relationships.  Also in 2016, it began an effort to recruit, train, and support Foster Parents, a critical need in South Carolina.  It offers Therapeutic Foster Care for children dealing with serious emotional issues.  In 2019, it began to provide Family Counseling and Parenting Classes, and it opened a cottage for Teen Mothers and their children, providing health care, parenting training, child care, and ensuring that the young women complete their high school education.


In July, 2019, State DSS Director Mike Leach said Thornwell is ahead of every other ministry to children and families in South Carolina.  He predicts that other agencies will come to Thornwell to learn how to adapt their services to the new legislative and regulatory requirements.

FPC Special Offerings

Sunday before Christmas
The help and support provided by the Christmas Joy Offering assists retired servants of the church, those encountering serious financial difficulty, and deserving racial ethnic students to succeed and excel in Presbyterian racial ethnic schools.

Received at Christmas Eve Services
With your help, more deserving families will be “home” for Christmas. Our Christmas Eve offering for Habitat is used to build Habitat Houses for people who need a helping hand to live in a decent house. It was said of Jesus, who was born in a manger, “He hath nowhere to lay his head,” so we provide home in celebration of His birth. Click, to learn more abbout Habitat for Humanity.

Your donations continue to help build and provide a home for families in our community.

Community Missions

The Boys & Girls Club of the Grand Strand has been in the forefront of youth development, working with young people from disadvantaged economic, social and family circumstances for over 20 years. They are reading tutors as well. If interested, email their Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Dione Buonto at dbuonto@bgclubs.org.

Community Kitchen is a donation and volunteer-based mission feeding the hungry of the Grand Strand and surrounding communities. Two hot meals, breakfast and lunch, are prepared and then with assistance of volunteers, served Monday through Friday from 7:00 – 10:00 AM and 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM. To volunteer, contact FPC Members, Marianne and Nancy McNally.

The mission of this locally funded non-profit is to improve reading skills in our low-income communities by providing one-on-one literacy tutoring, free book for home libraries, and an inspiring, high-energy learning environment. To find out how to become a literacy tutor, go to www.freedomreaders.org.

Gab & Jan Swing met while they were here on an FPC mission trip o Piedras Negras, Mexico. Gabe was our Youth Minister and Jan later became our first Parish Nurse. When we think of the Bahamas, our thoughts go to a vacation destination. The reality is high unemployment, high level of alcoholism, and high teen pregnancy. Swing Missions believes strategically reaching teenagers in the most effective and logical place to establish an enduring impact in an individual’s life, society, and culture for generations to come. For ways to support the mission, visit www.swingmission.com or sign up for our Adult Mission Trip.

Associated Charities, located at 742 8th Ave. N. in Myrtle Beach, has been serving those in need along the Grand Strand since 1952. Supported  by churches and individuals, it provides donations, clothing, shoes, and household items for men, women, youth, children and infants. Clients are provided items of need and on Thursdays, a public sale is held where items can be purchased for minimal prices. Donations are accepted Monday-Friday, from 9:00 AM – Noon. Time can also be donated to sort clothing or to work the public sale. Contact FPC Member, Georgiana Keller, who coordinates the volunteer schedule.


There are many ways to get involved with our international Summer/work/travel students… known mostly as J1 Students. J1 is a type of Visa they receive to be a part of the SWT (Summer/work/travel). Myrtle Beach is home for the summer to approximately 3,500 students. We are always in need of airport greeters, transportation, host families, and servers for All Nations Cafe. Also, we are trying to have several different cultural events during the summer. To help, call Kelly Guyton at 843-902-7477 or email her at kelly@strandiss.com.

Volunteer opportunities abound here in their ReStore, as Home Buyer Mentors, on the Family Selection Committee and for Kids programs. Construction volunteers are needed to work side-by-side with habitat staff, home buyers, and donors to build foundations and homes for families of Horry County. No experience is necessary. If interested, contact Erin Walters at erin@habitatmb.org or phone, 843-650-8815, ext. 8006.

Helping Hand is a crisis intervention and referral agency whose mission is to provide aid to those in need in our community. Helping Hand provides food, rent, and utility assistance, gasoline, local and long-distance bus tickets, prescription medications, diapers, hygiene items and referrals to other appropriate agencies. To donate or volunteer, call Tina Shuppy, Executive Director at 843-448-8451. Or visit their website, www.helpinghandmb.org.

Hope House strives to provide a healthy environment for registered Myrtle Beach High School students who are designated homeless or otherwise burdened by circumstances beyond their control and who are actively completing their academic requirements to receive a high school diploma. This includes covering housing, food, clothing, medical, sports and school related expenses. Go to www.hopehouseofmyrtlebeach.org to find our how to be of assistance.

Our members, Tim and Deb Mayfield, are the driving force behind this ongoing effort to provide much needed assistance to clients of the senior centers in our most economically distressed areas. To find out how you can help, call Tim or Deb.

Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) is a volunteer based, door-to-door transportation service in Horry and Georgetown counties for home-bound seniors 60+ years, and chronically ill and disabled adults aged 21 to 59 years old. This includes transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping, errands and other life-sustaining and life-enhancing appointments. For more information, call Roxanne Mills and 843-839-0702 or go to www.gracefullyaging.org.


Now known as New Directions of Horry County Men’s Shelter, this is one of FPC’s oldest missions. Twenty years ago, FPC member Howard Barnard saw a need and began our mission which serves a meal to the homeless every Wednesday evening. Since then, the Street Reach shelter has moved and changed names but, every Wednesday night, FPC prepares and serves a hot meal. We now have 5 teams of FPC volunteers who work every 5th Wednesday. If interested, please contact John Neely at john_neely@hotmail.com.