Pictured (from left) are Dr. Nelson Granade, pastor of FBCS; Amy Freeze, director of development for Fifth Street Ministries; and Elizabeth Barnard, minister of missions for FBCS.

Special to Iredell Free News

First Baptist Church on Davie Avenue recently donated $4,347 to the Eddie Steel Fund at Fifth Street Ministries. The fund was established by First Baptist Church four years ago in honor of Eddie Steele,
a beloved member of the church.

Eddie Steele

Eddie wasn’t the typical church member. He was actually homeless when members of First Baptist Church intially met him. A member saw him living in a makeshift hut under a building and began to reach out to him. It took months, but Eddie began to trust the church members who wanted to help him.

After some time, however, Eddie became a dear friend to folks at First Baptist Church. With the congregation’s help, he received needed medical care and a place to live. In return, Eddie became the church’s No. 1 volunteer. He especially enjoyed setting up chairs for meetings – and he always had them spaced exactly right.

When Eddie passed away, the congregation wanted to do something in his honor; so it established the Eddie Steele Fund at Fifth Street. Every year First Baptist Church takes up a special offering on the Sunday closest to Eddie’s birthday. The funds are given to Fifth Street to help others who are in need.

“This is the best way we could think of to honor Eddie’s memory,” said Dr. Nelson Granade, the pastor of First Baptist Church.

“We thought we were making a difference in Eddie’s life; but he was actually improving ours,” he added. “The church is stronger because of Eddie.”

First Baptist Church is known for its support of local mission groups and has partnered with Fifth Street Ministries from its inception.

“It is our hope that we can remember Eddie’s legacy and that it can continue to help those in need rise above their situation,” Mission Pastor Elizabeth Kilby said. “We are thankful for Fifth Street and their partnership that allows people to do just that.”


If you would like to make a donation to the Eddie Steele Fund, please send your checks to Fifth Street Ministries, P.O. Box 5217, Statesville, NC 28687 or First Baptist Church, 815 Davie Avenue, Statesville, NC 28677. All gifts to this fund are used to help our homeless neighbors find help and housing.

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