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franklin county times

Hope Center provides ministry to thousands

For Shea Lowery, the mission is a little different, but the goal is the same – to help people who need help the most.

That’s what Lowery has been working towards for several years, first as director of the Quinn’s Ranch boys home in Red Bay and now as executive director of the Bethany Hope Center, which ministers to youth and women across the region.

The Bethany Hope Center is a ministry tool that Lowery believes will leave a lasting impact on everyone who comes through it.

“The whole purpose is to reach people for Jesus Christ,” Lowery said.

The center has now grown to spread beyond the walls of the Red Bay ranch and is reaching areas throughout Alabama and Mississippi. The Red Bay ranch now serves as a retreat, while the ministry itself has grown arms and legs.

Lowery has been working with over 1,000 children each month in Livingston and hopes to be in other areas soon.

“It has been amazing to see how God can use this and how it helps so many people,” she said.

Her ministry work has even led to position she could have only dreamed of before – a football coach.

Lowery’s work with Sumter Central High School led to her appointment as the team’s player development coach. She conducts Bible studies with players and prepares motivational tapes and lines up speakers for the team.

“My role is to develop them by bringing Godly men into their lives.”

That is a passion Lowery has had for years. Her husband was killed in 1990 and she has since seen the value of introducing role models into people’s lives.

She said the concept began with her own parents, Johnny Wayne Childers and Pat Nelson, and has since spread to her children and their families, including her son, Randy Lowery, and daughter and son-in-law Mandy and Tyler Morrow.

She also now has two grandchildren, Dalton Lowery and Aaron Morrow.

Through her work ministering with others, Lowery has developed relationships with people throughout the sports community who have began to take active roles in the center as well.

“Shea has a unique quality of persistence,” said former Alabama quarterback Walter Lewis.

“She channels that persistence into the lives of people, giving them clear direction regarding life challenges and, in turn, with her willingness to assist people, builds solid life foundations.”

Lowery credits many of her personal principles to Lewis, who she has since named the conference room after at the Bethany Hope retreat lodge.

The director of the retreat lodge is Kathi Holcomb, whose husband, Barry, is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Russellville.

Holcomb has a burden for ministers and their wives. She believes God has given this burden to her due to the fact that she herself is a pastor’s wife and she can relate to what ministers and their wives experience.

The lodge is used by pastors and their families who need to “get away and be ministered to themselves.”

“It’s a place for people to hear the word,” Holcomb said. “We can bring in a variety of people who understands someone’s situation and they can minister to them.”

“Kathi Holcomb is an authentic disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ,” said Pastor Al Jackson of Lakeview Baptist Church in Auburn.

“She is an ideal pastor’s wife and friend to the wives of many pastors. God has gifted her to encourage and bless his servants in this generation.”

As the center grows, more events are planned for outreach and ministry.

“Shea Lowery is the epitome of a difference maker,” said Clemson University head football coach Dabo Swinney.

“She is doing an incredible job with the Bethany Hope Center Ministry and now will have an opportunity to impact the lives of hundreds of kids with her new role as a player development coach. Her enthusiasm and passion for people will no doubt bring about a very positive change in the lives of these young people.”

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