Press & Media

Day of Service - Albany Herald
October 13, 2017

Sherwood Students Help Fight Blight - With Paint Brushes
Day of Service brings high school students to East Albany

ALBANY — Students from Sherwood Christian Academy help fight blight in the community using hearts filled with love and paint brushes.

Each semester at the Christian-based school, middle and high school students venture out into the community for a Day of Service. This month, they painted a church and duplex apartments on Albany's east side.

The outreach was coordinated by campus pastor and soccer program director Jeremy Davidson, who said he contacted Albany's Mission:Change organization to get some ideas on where the students could serve the community.

"Mission:Change helped coordinate the opportunity for us to serve with Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful, and we did a variety of things from picking up litter to painting," Davidson said.

Mission:Change is a grassroots, volunteer-driven 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness and taking action concerning often-overlooked issues in the community. Albany Mission:Change organizes monthly community outreach events, brings volunteers to Albany to serve through short-term missions, and partners with local churches and volunteer groups to serve the community. According to website information, their mission is to show how easy it is to change the world from your backyard.

Backyard missions is also in the heart of Davidson, who said he strives to help his students see the potential for serving their own community.

Last week, a group of 90 middle school students helped clean up the grounds around the Grace Emmanuel Church of God in Christ, located at 501 Bonny View Ave. in Albany. Middle school students washed down three crosses on the property and prepared the church building for painting. On Friday, high school students returned to the same location to put on a final coat of paint.

The high school group consisted of 120 students and about eight adults. The group was sectioned off into two teams. One group stayed and worked on the church, while the second group walked about two blocks away to clean up and paint four duplexes.

"This is the first major outreach of the school year," Davidson said. "Each year we organize Days of Service, and we track community service hours. At the end of the year, students gain recognition for the number of volunteer hours they put in."

Although high school students also can put their community service work on their resumes and on college applications, increasing chances of getting college scholarships, Davidson was quick to point out that the spiritual aspects of serving the community far outweighed any personal benefits or incentives students may have had for volunteering.

"Most of our students put in well over 1,000, even 1,500, volunteer hours over their high school years. That's impressive," Davidson said. "As campus pastor, I try to teach them to walk as Christ walked. Our 10th-graders study the life of the Apostle Paul, and we help them to become mission-focused."

Davidson said it is important for students to realize that mission begins in their own backyard.

"There are big needs right here in Albany," he said. "Its all about helping others — its about serving the community. As Christians, that is who we are. It is in our DNA."

Emily Whatley, a Sherwood junior, said students can help bring unity into the community through service and by giving back.

"Christ was a servant leader," she said. "Our goal is to show His love. We can break some of the divisions in our community by giving something back."

Addison Wilson, a sophomore, said just picking up litter or using a paint brush can leave a lasting impression and can impact people's lives.

"It shows how much we love our community — how much we care about Albany," she said.

Sophomore Randi Harrelson said the benefits of volunteering go both ways.

"For us, we get to take a day off from worrying or thinking about school, our routine, our friends. We get to focus on others instead of ourselves," she said.

Anthony Adams, a junior, added, "We can reach out as a group, and together we can have an impact. We know Albany has been through a lot of storms and tragedies, and we can take this time to come together and do something."

Harrelson said there is no age barrier when it comes to helping others.

"God calls the church to be servants," he said. "Even as kids, we can do something. Our high school takes the time to show that we all can represent Christ and show His love to others."

While the recent Days of Service outreach in east Albany was the first organized effort of its kind for this school year, Davidson said many students do volunteer work in the community on their own, with friends and with their families. Past efforts organized through the school have included storm clean-up and volunteer work at Chehaw. Students have also assisted with sorting donations at the Lord's Pantry in Albany.

Kerrie Davis, an employee with the joint city/county Planning department, was on hand Friday to help the high-schoolers with the painting project.

"I will be here until 2 p.m., and I will also be painting," she said. "A lot of these students have club and community service hours to complete but, more importantly, this opportunity gives them a sense of community as they give to those who may be less fortunate than they are."

Judy Bowles, who heads Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful, said, "These students really made a statement today. They did an awesome job. Its important to teach young people to give back. Everywhere you are is a mission field."

Jason Davidson, a forensic science teacher and director of security for Sherwood, said experiences like this often have a powerful and lasting impression on students.

"They go into areas of the city that may be unlike where they live. It brings them back to reality ... that it's not always all about us," he said. "Sometimes we get secluded into our own little world, but through outreach they get to see the bigger picture. They see another part of Albany." 


Sherwood Christian Academy Names Baseball Head Coach

September 27, 2017

Sherwood Christian Academy is pleased to announce that Adam Crosby has accepted the role of Varsity Baseball Head Coach. Adam was born and raised in Dothan, Alabama, and graduated from Cottonwood High School in 2006 where he played both varsity football and baseball. He continued his passion for baseball playing at the University of South Alabama in Mobile where he graduated in 2010 with bachelor's degrees in physical education and biology. Previously, Adam served as an assistant football and baseball coach at Cottage Hill Christian Academy in Mobile. Since moving to Albany, he has assisted both the football and baseball programs at SCA.

Adam currently owns a landscaping company in Albany (Elite Outdoor Concepts) and serves as a board member for the Albany Area Chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Adam's wife, Kristin, serves in the Children's Ministry at Sherwood Baptist Church.