Prior to 1984, the churches of North Augusta individually had food pantries and clothes closets to help the poor. However, several churches felt the need to band together and organize a community ministry. This was tried several times and was successful in 1984. Six local churches: Our Lady of Peace Catholic, Fairview Presbyterian, Second Providence Baptist, Grace Methodist, Saint Bartholomew Episcopal, and Holy Trinity Lutheran successfully banded together and were able to get the Community Ministry of North Augusta organized.
The Community Ministry of North Augusta (or CMONA as it came to be called) is a Christian organization providing temporary or emergency help to those in need. The service is limited to North Augusta and Belvedere (the Area 2 school district). By 2015 we have grown from the original six churches to twenty-two sponsoring churches. These churches support the Ministry by giving $1.00 per year for each of their active members. The churches have food drives, donations of furniture and clothing, and support the ministry in many ways. They also have volunteers who work in the Thrift Store and office. Additionally, many donations are made by the citizens, as well as the businesses, of North Augusta.
The Thrift Store’s first location was 608 West Avenue in a house rented to the ministry by Margaret Callicott. The Thrift Store was moved to the Genesis Building at Grace Methodist in 1987. In 1994 the Community Ministry moved to the old SCE&G building on Five Notch Road and Georgia Avenue. They paid rent of $1.00 per year. With the larger building the ministry was able to expand services. Many church members and citizens of North Augusta worked together to renovate the building. The ribbon cutting was held July 9, 1994.
In 1999 SCE&G sold the property and CMONA found it necessary to make another move. The Board of Directors decided it was in the best interest of the Ministry to purchase a building. A Capital Funds Campaign Committee was formed. This committee included Rev. Michael Andrews, Kent Sullivan, Mim Woodring, Edith Buchanan, Bill Arra, Dick Day and Ben Watson. The goal of the committee was to raise $250,000. A search was started to find a building that would be large enough to operate the many services for those in need to help. The place needed to be visible and easy for clients to find.
In 1999 many citizens of North Augusta came through with donations of $240,000 and labor to renovate the building at 646 East Buena Vista Avenue, the current home of Community Ministry of North Augusta.
(Revised August 2015)