Local ministry helps Easley families

By Nicole Daughhetee
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — The initials “WWJD,” standing for “What Would Jesus Do?” became a popular Christian catchphrase some years back, reminding people to behave the way Jesus would if he were walking around in the 21st century.

Through R.E.A.C.H. Ministries, Cory Odom is striving to answer “WWJD” by going out into the Easley community to Reach Everyone As Christ Hoped.

“Kids are in need of a constant variable on their lives. They need time to relax and be kids, to have an adult listen to them and hear their needs,” said Odom. “With R.E.A.C.H. we are trying to give kids what they need — to be a constant presence in their lives.”

Odom began R.E.A.C.H. (Reach Everyone As Christ Hoped) Ministries when the Wednesday night Bible study at Easley’s Westgate apartment complex, led by volunteers from Pure Grace Ministries, had more children in attendance than the one room could accommodate.

“It got so large that it got to where the kids from Creekside (apartment complex) wanted to come to it, but Westgate said they couldn’t house kids from other apartment,” said Odom.

He started R.E.A.C.H. to meet a need that was too big to ignore.
Every other Wednesday evening, at 5:30 p.m., Odom and his volunteers arrive at West End Elementary to walk over to the Creekside apartment complex, pick up the resident children, along with some of their parents, and walk back to the gym Odom rents from the School District of Pickens County.

“The way R.E.A.C.H. works is we take the church to them,” said Odom. “Like Jesus did. He walked and He talked to the people.”
Once all the children are assembled in West End’s gym, they break into groups for a game of trivia, followed by music and praise worship. The boys and girls are divided by age groups to begin small group Bible study, after which everyone comes together in a large group for the practical application part of the Bible study.

It is important for Odom, and his volunteers, to teach the children how to take Biblical principles and apply them to everyday situations.
“We want them to learn things like the importance of working together, problem-solving and how to put a Christian walk into practice,” said Odom.

R.E.A.C.H. Ministries also offers Bible study for interested adults. Christy Upton, from local Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, volunteers to lead a women’s Bible study group for the moms whose children take part in Wednesday night activities.

“It is important to get this message to the kids, but if it doesn’t go home, if it doesn’t get into the hearts of their parents, then the kids don’t have a fighting chance,” said Upton. “That’s why we are working to bring the church to the people.”

Joining Upton on Wednesday nights are several teens from the youth ministry program at Mt. Pisgah.

“It is neat to see how we’ve invested in these kids at our church,” said Upton, “and they are able to take that investment and give back to others in the community.”

While R.E.A.C.H. Ministries was established to meet the needs of the Creekside residents, Odom says that Wednesday night Bible study and worship is wide open to anyone in the community who wants to participate.

R.E.A.C.H. Ministries is currently being funded by Odom and driven by the passion of several volunteers. A true grassroots operation, R.E.A.C.H. Ministries will welcome and benefit from donations of any kind. Those interested in volunteering to work with the children are required to complete a background check. Anyone interested in showing support can contact Cory Odom at or

Odom says that without the people, the church is just a building with a steeple. He and the dedicated volunteers at R.E.A.C.H. Ministries are taking the word of God to the community — meeting the people where they are — and trying to meet a great need in Easley.