Name: Steve Lindsley
Years as a Camper: 0
Years on Staff/Positions held: 1989: Sea Gull Aquatics Staff, 1990: Sea Gull Land Director, 1994: Seafarer Evening Programs Director, 1995: Seafarer Special Events Director
Current Profession: Senior Pastor, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, NC (8 years)
How were you first introduced to Camp Sea Gull? My best friend growing up was the son of Jim Epps who was the number two at Sea Gull, so I lost my friend for three months every summer. I was never a camper, but I went to after school at the Hillsborough Street (now Alexander Family) Y and worked at their summer program a couple of summers between high school and college. I also worked at the Winston Salem YMCA coaching swimming out of college before working at Sea Gull and Seafarer.
Can you provide a brief overview of your professional focus? I do the typical preacher things – preaching, leading worship, pastoral care - but what I’ve been doing a lot lately is helping my church navigate the new normal post-pandemic. For us that means asking big questions – how do we re-think this thing called “church”? We’ve formed a task force and are working with local organizations to recast our vision and purpose. We sit on about 18 acres of land in the heart of South Charlotte and have a massive facility that far exceeds our membership so we’re asking what kind of community we want right outside our front doors.
How do the values or skills you learned at Camp show up in your everyday work and/or personal life? Camp prepared me for ministry simply by being around people 24/7. You cannot help but work together and resolve differences when you’re around people that much! I was always impressed with how well Camp articulated its mission, goals and values; and how that trickled down through everyone. Camp does a great job of instilling purpose and demonstrating how you have a role in living out the mission, goals and values of the organization.
Is there a person or a situation that had a huge influence on you while you were at Camp? How and why did they/it impact you? I had a connection with Bo Roberts from my church growing up in Raleigh and I’ve always looked up to him as a very honest and authentic person. At Sea Gull, Tim Joyce was my immediate supervisor when I had no idea what I was doing as Land Director.He was extremely patient with me, brought me along and gave me a lot of insight. At Seafarer, it was really all of the staff who had an impact on me.I didn’t grow up with sisters so it was quite an experience to be in an environment with predominantly women.
Do you have a special Camp memory or experience that you’ve kept with you over the years? I remember the first time I heard “Wim-O-Way” at Seafarer - holy smokes! I went back a summer or two after that and got permission from Cille Griffith to record them singing it. At the time I was working on my first album and was able to incorporate Seafarer girls singing Whim-O-Way into the intro of one of the songs.
Favorite Camp food: Sunday fried chicken and fudge pops
All-time favorite skit: Right after Aladdin came out, Beth (DeHart) Richardson and I dressed up and sang A Whole New World. We tried to mimic riding away on the magic carpet by using one of the carts they put the trash cans on. Somebody pushed us as we “floated” down the main aisle as the song ended. Good times!
Devotion you best remember from Camp: Sunday vespers and worship service