MINT HILL – Two local ministers came together last week at a Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce luncheon to ask local business leaders for help constructing the proposed Mint Hill Christian Community Center.
Jeff Turner, minister of youth and recreation at Idlewild Baptist Church, and Rick Whittier, youth minister at Arlington Baptist Church, discussed the idea of giving local youth a place to hang out at the Thursday, Dec. 19, meeting. The two men said the community center would be a, “safe environment for students to learn, connect and grow” that Mint Hill needs.
Whittier said he wants to help the area business community see the benefit of investing its time and wisdom in students through the center, as
“students will be future business leaders,” but first they need leadership development in order to get there.
The two ministers have looked at possible locations for the center. But without a budget, a business model or a clear idea on what the square footage of the final building will be, Turner and Whittier need help from business leaders to send them in the right direction.
“We’re not asking for money, we’re looking for guidance and help on how to (move forward),” Turner said, though adding he wouldn’t turn down a check if anyone wished to donate.
Business leaders were asked to consider helping with information on how to procure items such as signage, bathrooms, sound and video, lighting, computers and Wi-Fi, office equipment, concessions, games, kitchen, decorations, tables and chairs, advertising, taxes and insurance, up-fit cots, maintenance, security, staff, volunteer mentors and other furniture – pretty much everything needed to get the center up and running.
Although just in the planning process, the building could be around 8,000 square feet with enough space to hold a computer lab, a study room, offices and a general area with games and a stage for bigger community events. The men gave examples of what they hope will be taught at the center, such as financial classes to teach teenagers the basics of money management and how to balance a checkbook.
Rough drafts of logos for the center comprise the colors of all the local schools so students will feel ownership of the building no matter where they learn during the weekdays.
The proposed center would host a number of community programs, such as leadership development, after-school offerings, tutoring and mentoring, the Teacher Cadet Program, community service opportunities, summer programs, fifth quarter events, food and clothing drives, concerts, movie nights, church services and other community events, the ministers
There also are various organizations the two men would like the community center to “connect with and show the kids they can be leaders in the community,” Turner said, suggesting Operation Christmas Drop, a humanitarian airlift program, as an example.
Both men want a place where older teenagers can mentor and tutor younger teenagers. They also hope the center will hold after-school activities for middle school students.
“It’s a way to get kids off of the street and in a safe environment,” they