Eva “Polly” Scott knows a lot about the early days of AGAPE of NC. Having moved to North Carolina from Houston, TX with her husband, Don, she accepted a job as secretary for Tom Slaughter, AGAPE of NC’s legendary first Executive Director, and worked from 1989 to 1990. We asked her to share some early memories of her time at AGAPE and she delivered! Here’s what she shared:

Humble Beginnings

“AGAPE began as an idea by a group of people that kept working until they made that dream a reality. Sometimes when we were low on money, a board member would stop by the office with a check just when we needed it for payroll. AGAPE has had very caring foster families over the years. People in the church care deeply for children. They were willing to help if you found a way to involve them.”

Life before Cell Phones:

“Tom Slaughter and David Clinard, an AGAPE Social Worker and Family Counsellor, knew where all the phone booths were in the state of North Carolina. I would page them with a code depending on how soon we needed them to respond. They would stop at the nearest phone booth and call the office. Later AGAPE got a “car phone.” It was cheaper to use that than to pay for long distance. So, Tom would get in the car to call some of the foster parents!”

Working in the “Old Fire Station” (AGAPE’s first office!)

“Tom and Joan Slaughter lived above the AGAPE office. It was an old fire station. One time, Tom found bats in the attic of the office. So, he donned a suit that looked like an astronaut to go up there and take care of them. Later, we found one on the floor near the bathroom and he told me it was my turn to take care of it – being funny.”

Early Fundraising

“One of our main fundraising events was a statewide yard sale. Tom, David, and Ron Newberry, a local preacher, would ride around in a big moving truck picking up donations that churches had stored for us to sell. The sale started on Saturday, but when we put out the stuff to sell, people would stop and buy. So, we ended up having a two-day yard sale. We did this for several years. It almost caused wrecks because of people stopping when they saw how much stuff we had. Many people volunteered for it. So, it was a way to get volunteers involved and a major fundraiser at the time.”

Crisis Hotline

“We had a statewide pregnancy hotline with an 800 number – Love Line. There was statewide training for people in churches to learn how to answer phones on a crisis hotline. The hotline calls would come to the office during the day. At night, the phone was transferred to volunteers across the state who would answer the calls during the night until the office opened the next day. We got PSAs on TV for the hotline and some of the people at church were in the videos.”


“We used tractor-feed paper for the fundraising letters. Printing was very slow at the time. So, we would start the printing on a Friday. Then, I would come by to check on it during the weekend to make sure it was still printing correctly, and to pick the paper up off the floor. We had a lot of volunteers who would come to help stuff envelopes and stamp them quarterly. AGAPE did not have a computer when I started. So, I brought my “portable” 23-pound computer to work. Ed Thomas, an elder at Friendly Avenue Church, built a database for us, and I put all the churches in NC, SC, TN, and VA into the database.”