Calera church donates car to woman in need

CALERA – After being without a vehicle for more than a month, Stephanie Mewhinney said receiving a car as a gift from LakeHills Church has been life-changing.

“It has completely changed our lives, honestly,” Mewhinney said. “We don’t have to stress about how we’re going to get to church or the grocery store or doctor’s appointments. I still can’t totally wrap my head around it.”

Every year LakeHills Church’s Heart for the House program sets out to meet a need inside the church or out in the community, and this year the church decided to help Mewhinney who has experienced some set back over the past few years.

“We take up a special offering at the end of the year that we use to help our local area in some way,” Pastor Josh Howell said.

Howell said he heard that there was a woman in the church who was in need of a vehicle.

A few years ago, Mewhinney’s home, where she lived with her two children, burned down and the family had to live in a friend’s 12-by-24-foot storage unit.

“We made the storage livable,” Mewhinney said. “We put up paneling and installed installation, water pipes and a little bath area. It was home for two years.”

Money was tight as the family worked to get back up on their feet after the fire, and eventually Mewhinney was able to find another home for her and her children.

“Then we needed a car and I found one for $900,” she said. “It didn’t have any air, but it was what I could afford. It lasted for about a year before the transmission and engine started going out.”

Mewhinney was without a vehicle for about six weeks before LakeHills church presented her with a Hyundai Elantra in January.

“Tameron Honda in Hoover gave us a great deal on the car. It’s not brand new, but it’s a good and reliable car,” Howell said. “This is one of the components of what church is about – supporting church members and the community not only spiritually but financially. Each year we’ll be looking for different things we can do to help.”

Mewhinney said she knew the church was taking up a collection for someone in the church, but she had no idea that she would be the recipient.

“I was just blown away,” she said.

Mewhinney has been attending LakeHills Church since October. She first met members of the church when she started attending one of the church’s life groups with a friend.

“I met a lot of the members before ever going to a church service,” she said. “They accepted me with love and kindness, and I’ve found that how someone treats you outside of church lets you know what kind of church it really is.”

Mewhinney said she’s definitely found her church home.