House Church Planters and Beach Lovers
by Melissa LaScaleia
Introduce me to your family.
It’s myself and my husband Lee. We have two sons: Noah is 22, and Ethan is 20— both are college students; and a dog, Chewy, short for Chewbacca. He looked like Chewbacca from Star Wars when we got him, and the boys were big fans of the movie, so that’s how he got his name. He’s 14 years old now, and not as fuzzy as he used to be, but he’s a good little dog— a tiny toy poodle.
Where are all the places you came from? What area of the Grand Strand do you now call home?
Christy: I was born in Sumter; we both lived there most of our lives. We lived in Columbia for four years when Lee earned his master’s of Divinity at Columbia International University Seminary. Today, we live in the Meridian in the Market Common area.
Lee: I was born in Elgin, Illinois, and moved to South Carolina at age 2 when my birth parents divorced. I was adopted when I was six years old, and grew up in Sumter.
Why did you move here?
Lee: I was invited to Myrtle Beach to help start a house church, where we open our home to smaller groups of people for church service. It’s modeled after the early Christian church. The goal is to establish a greater sense of community, intimacy, and friendship amongst people— to make more personal connections. Often in a larger setting, those qualities can get lost. It’s also an opportunity for people to partake in church who may not feel comfortable going to a bigger church for whatever reason.
What is your favorite place in this area?
Christy: I love Huntington Beach State Park because of all the wildlife. It feels like every time you go you’re seeing something different.
Lee: The Marsh Walk in Murrells Inlet. I get excited every time I see the beach, and we’ve been coming here for vacation our entire lives.
What are your favorite things to do here?
Lee: I like hunting for shark’s teeth, and playing trivia. We love all the activities available in Myrtle Beach— there’s always something going on here.
What do you like the most about living here?
Lee: The beach itself. I love sitting on the beach, the salt air, and the waves crashing.
How has your lifestyle changed or what new activities have you taken up since moving here?
Christy: I’ve been working as a personal shopper. That’s not something I could have done in Sumter because it’s too small. Whether it’s food, clothing or decor, I get what people need and deliver it to them. It has been a great way to learn the area better and help people. I’ve met a lot of sweet people that way.
What is one thing that your neighbors don’t know about you?
We have been to seventeen Major League ballparks, and our goal is to hit them all. We’re a little over half way.
Is there anything that you miss or would like to see in Myrtle Beach?
We miss seeing our friends back home, and would love to see a Trader Joe’s come to the area.