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Mrs. Eulene Shepherd, wife of founder Rev. Banks Shepherd

Mrs. Eulene Shepherd, wife of founder Rev. Banks Shepherd

Mrs. Doris Fish, first ExecutiveDirector

Mrs. Doris Fish, first ExecutiveDirector

ECCCM: the body of Christ into the world — the faith of fifty years

It all began in 1968 when Rev. Banks Shepherd, pastor of Bethany and Smyrna United Churches of Christ, sparked the founding of ECCCM. A phone call came to him from an unsuspecting woman needing a new refrigerator and cook stove. On a hunch, he called other area ministers to learn that the same woman had already received these appliances. Clearly, the combined efforts of Christians throughout Eastern Catawba County could eliminate duplication and accomplish far more than individual congregations. Seeking guidance of God, through prayer, ECCCM, a Christian ministry, was born of local supportive churches in 1969.

ECCCM is passionate about positively impacting others in a godly manner in the midst of a crisis situation, and fulfills the biblical message our pastors teach on Sunday: being the body of Christ into the world. In addition to our supportive churches, ECCCM receives support from individuals, local businesses and foundations.

Jesus said,

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me” (Matt 25:35–36 NRSV).

ECCCM serves all of eastern Catawba County outside of Hickory zip codes 28601 & 28602 (ECCCM service area), providing emergency financial assistance for mortgage and rent payments, assistance with utility bills, fuel oil and kerosene purchases, and life-necessary pharmaceuticals. In addition, ECCCM provides emergency food and clothing to those in need. 

Typical reasons leading to a crisis include, but are not limited to, job layoffs and unemployment, underemployment, unexpected major expenses such as medical emergencies or other crisis situations. Residents are invited to apply for assistance if needed. A personal interview is required with proper documentation (see this page for more information). 

The Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers serve those who come for assistance knowing that through the services provided ECCCM is fulfilling the gospel message. 

Getting to ECCCM

Getting to ECCCM




Crisis Ministry Hours:

Monday - Thursday

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Applications not accepted after 4:15 pm

Thrift Store Hours:

Monday - Friday

9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Thrift Store donations accepted during all ministry hours of operation!

our Mission

To bring together the resources of the Christian community to serve the people in need of crisis assistance, support and education, in response to God’s call.

50 Year Video snapshot

Photos and video by ECCCM


ECCCM is proud to be a Catawba County United Way partner agency

Because of employee contributions like yours, Catawba County United Way is an important source of funding for ECCCM. 

Please support Catawba County United Way's campaign by Donating Here!