Ministry provides life assistance to The King’s Daughters

by Tori Hamby

Sheryl Dorsey, president and founder of Stanley-based The King’s Daughters ministry, puts the finishing touches on the house that will serve the ministry’s first residents in October. (Tori Hamby/MIM photo)

By the time autumn, a small house in the Gaston-Mecklenburg community will become a home for two troubled women.

These women won’t be drug addicts or criminals in need of rehabilitation – they will be “stuck” and looking for a way to move forward with their lives. When they enter the Stanley-based The King’s Daughters ministry, a residential education and counseling service for women, they will be seeking hope and a purpose in life.

“There aren’t a lot of resources out there for women who aren’t pregnant, who aren’t on drugs, who aren’t in trouble with law enforcement, but are just stuck,” Sheryl Dorsey, The King’s Daughters president and founder, said. “They are starting to make bad decisions and getting into unhealthy relationships. They don’t know how to get out.”

Dorsey began her venture into the residential ministry in February 2011. It took The King’s Daughters exactly one year to receive federal recognition as a non-profit. She has spent the last several months preparing a rented two-bedroom home for the program’s first tenants.

Due to the nature of the ministry, Dorsey and her staff keep the home’s location a secret to keep the residents safe from unwanted visitors from their pasts.

The women will live expense-free for about six to 18 months, Dorsey said, while regularly attending spiritual and emotional counseling and life skills training at the ministry’s facility – dubbed the Castle. Dorsey working to close on the facility in the Stanley area in the near future and eventually expand the home to include more women.

As a former troubled teen herself Darcey spent half of her teenage years on the streets or in foster care and considered suicide. She realizes how strong religious beliefs can change a person’s life. Despite a childhood filled with violence, she found herself in a church pew at age 16, the same year she gave birth to her first child, after crossing the country to meet her father for the first time.

“The constant feeling of death,” Dorsey said, began to disappear as she embraced religion.

Today Dorsey’s son serves as a worship pastor at Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte and her daughter is a U.S. Army veteran. Dorsey, who lives in the Mountain Island area, will celebrate her 22nd wedding anniversary this month.

“My relationship with Jesus Christ changed me more radically than my past changed me,” Dorsey said.

Dorsey expects resident care alone – food, transportation, rent – will cost about $2,300 per month. The ministry is supported by The King’s Daughters Penny Thrift Store, a secondhand shop located at 532 Hwy 27 S., Stanley, and donations from local churches and corporations. Initially staffed completely by volunteers, paid store manager Kelly Eggers now runs the day-to-day operations of the store.

The thrift shop sells secondhand children’s, women’s and men’s clothing, as well as accessories, furniture, toys, electronics and books. It brings in about $1,000 a week to support the ministry.

“Our (secondhand) books get a lot of attention,” Eggers said. “People love the books.”

All proceeds from the store and donations are appreciated, Dorsey said, as the ministry’s “unapologetically Christian” teachings preclude it from receiving government funding.

“We will not water (our teachings) down for any amount of money,” Dorsey said.

The financial aspects of her endeavor might feel daunting at times, but Dorsey said she feels like she has no choice but to reach out to women who need her help.

“When God tells you to do something, you do it,” she said.

Want to help?

The King’s Daughters ministry will hold an Emerald Ball in September to help support its residential counseling program. Details: 704-263-8855 or pennythrift@kdmonline.org.

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