Social Justice and Community Outreach

Serve Council Vision


Fairmount’s Serve Council stands for social justice and improving marginalized lives in Northeast Ohio to create a just, flourishing, and welcoming community where all people experience the love of God.

Serve Council Mission:

As a Matthew 25 church, Serve Council will focus our resources, influence and community partnerships to reduce poverty in Northeast Ohio and make meaningful changes to the systems and policies that promote racism and inequality through:

  • Institutional partnerships linking Fairmount with organizations dedicated to making change in poverty and systems of racial inequality in Northeast Ohio.
  • A Community Grants Program supporting organizations with targeted projects to make tangible progress in Matthew 25 priorities of building congregational vitality, eradicating poverty, and dismantling structural racism in Northeast Ohio.
  • Covenant Programs sponsored by Fairmount’s operating budget and approved by our Session as missions of the church. These include our 25-year commitment to the Dominican Republic village of Batey 105 and Fairmount’s Little Free Pantry.
  • Volunteer leadership and congregational education to connect Fairmount congregational members and those in our local community to our grantees and community partners.
  • Organizing and advocacy with Greater Cleveland Congregations and other community partners to advance social justice in our region.

The 2024 Fairmount Serve Council members (see Serve Council job description) are Ben Sperry (chair), David Bosler, Katy Brennan, Steve Chapman, Wrean Fiebig, Gary Maddox, Sarah Stone, and Hedy Westra.

Serving in Our Communities

In 2023, as in previous years, Fairmount helped support the annual Barber’s Christmas Bash, an event in Youngstown for children of incarcerated parents.  Held December 22, the “Bash” featured gifts, food and free haircuts for the kids.  Fairmount members Steve Chapman and Ben Sperry dropped by and took part in the fun. Check out some fun photos from this fun, holiday event!

Click the photos below to learn more about each Serve Council focus.

Greater Cleveland Congregation’s (GCC) mission is to be a powerful force for change, creating justice and opportunity in Greater Cleveland by uniting our faith communities and civic partners across lines of race, class, and religion.

Founded in 1969, the mission of Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry (LMM) is to promote shalom (peace, well-being) and justice (right relationship) through a Christian ministry of service and advocacy with those who are oppressed, forgotten and hurting.

The Bridges to Batey Ministry Team – Batey 105 is a community in the Dominican Republic that FPC has made a 25-year commitment of support. This support includes improving the social and economic status of the residents. Learn More.

FPC at the Cleveland Food Bank – On the second Monday of the month,  9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m, a group of Fairmounters led by Hedy Westra volunteers at the Cleveland Food Bank.  In June Fairmount assembled 588 shelf stable kits (25,200 lbs.) Help Fairmount with this important community outreach monthly activity. If you are interested in volunteering at the Cleveland Food Bank with contact Hedy Westra for more information.

Fairmount Presbyterian Church is very active in serving our Northeast Ohio Community. Learn more about the essential community service activites our Fairmount members have undertaken. 

Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland Hunger Walk

Fairmount sponsored a virtual group to walk and provided $2,000.00 in matching funds to support our team. Fairmount has sponsored a team for over 20 years. We could not do it without the wonderful support of our congregation!

North Church

2020 presented many challenges to North Church. Their congregation does not have access to computers and the internet, and they began meeting at church with the doors open, wearing masks and socially distancing. When the weather turned too cold to keep the doors open, they had to stop meeting. They provided to-go lunches and Fairmount provided the food trays to hold the lunch bags. We regret not being able to prepare a meal, bring dessert and share worship with their congregation this year but, we are hopeful for 2021

Prison Ministry

Since we set up Fairmount Presbyterian Church’s prison ministry in 2010, our focus has been education. As such, we established the Cuyahoga County Jail Education Fund under the Church’s 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. The Fund has been used to purchase books for accredited academic courses and book-discussion programs at the following institutions in Northeast Ohio: Cuyahoga County Jail, Lorain Correctional Institution, Grafton Correctional Institution, and the Northeast Reintegration Center. The Church, through its annual contributions, has been the largest supporter of the Fund. The Church of the Covenant has contributed regularly, as have various individuals. Starting in 2013, through a program at Case Western Reserve University called SAGES, Case undergraduates and incarcerated students have taken simultaneous identical courses, titled The Impact of Race, Class and Education, that include a joint learning exchange involving the two groups of students. The Fund has been used to support these courses. Recently, through our work in teaching at the prisons, we have identified related areas of need where we are expanding. Those include prison reentry (individuals recently released from prison), restorative justice, and a monthly book drive – called Open Book – that collects and delivers used books to prison libraries in the region.

Little Free Pantry

The Little Free Pantry was envisioned, constructed and led by the Youth of the church. The Pantry is stocked by the members of the church. The youth families continue to take the lead in monitoring the pantry. The pantry is highly used.

Habitat for Humanity

We financially supported their efforts in 2020. Fairmount looks forward to coordinating another Fairmount work crew in the future.

Gifts for Kids

In the past, this program was known as Holiday Angels. The program assists with purchasing gifts for families of the Heights Emergency Food Center.