The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

October 19, 2012

First Love ministers to young women

By Ian Faulkner, Staff Writer
SNAP

Friday, October 19, 2012 — “We love because He first loved us.” This quote from 1 John 4:19 explains the purpose behind First Love, an organization in Stanly County who celebrated their first anniversary in August.

First Love is composed of young women from four different churches in the Stanly County region: Pleasant Grove Baptist, Red Cross Baptist, Open Door Baptist and East Albemarle Baptist.

On Sept. 22, First Love traveled to different homes, visiting members of their community to show them support and love. The girls brought instruments and entertained while they visited.

First Love’s main mission is to serve their community by doing good deeds for the Lord. In the past, First Love has collected glasses for Lions Club, cell phones for the Battered Women’s Shelter, food for the Esther House and blankets/bags for the Community Inn. The girl’s group concentrates on promoting modesty and Christian values.

Furthermore, the organization is sort of like a support group for Christian values among young women. The girls attend different schools in the county and they use this support structure to keep themselves “good, pure and Christ-like.”

The group formed a year ago after Madeline Tucker returned from Caswell Christian Youth Camp.

“I was with my friend Ali. It was our last night there. We were sitting outside and God spoke to us, telling us to create the girl’s group. There is just so much at school and in the world that brings us down, we're just trying to lift ourselves up,” said Tucker.

After having the idea, Tucker ran the idea by her mother, Angela Tucker, and a family friend, Abby Smith. They decided that the group’s first focus should be purity in Christ.

Next, Tucker started a four to five week course on the “Silver Ring,” a devotional booklet. She started this with seven other girls. As the girls participated in the course, they began to meet for monthly mission projects, and before they knew it, First Love was born. Now the group has about 15 regular members, though the girls do not need to consistently show for meetings.

The girls focus on God, giving all the glory for their accomplishments to God. Through this selflessness, the girls serve their community. Even when they’re not doing mission work, the purpose of First Love is never far from their minds: at pool parties and lock-ins, the girls brainstorm on ways that they can hone in on the needs of the community in order to better serve.

“God loved us first and we do a lot of loving on other people,” said Abby Smith, one of the adult leaders of First Love.

“The girls went to a laundromat one Saturday. We had $42 in quarters and we gave it away to the people there doing their laundry. They were shocked. It was one of the best experiences the girls have had together. The girls of First Love are selfless. They give up their time for others. They even give away money they don't have.”

For more information on First Love, or if you are a young woman and interested in joining, visit or email FirstLoveProjects@groups.facebook.com.