Helping others find financial freedom
Dr. Gary Metts, an assistant professor of criminal justice and the assistant dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Charleston Southern University, has spent the last five years helping others find financial freedom.
In his partnership with Seacoast Church, a local church in the Charleston area, Metts volunteers his time to being a table leader during sets of nine-week programs, inspired by Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Their goal throughout this program is to help others conquer their debt while praying for them and mirroring biblical teachings.
“Finances are the number one cause for a lot of things, even divorce,” said Metts. “People call the church to get help financially, even if they’re embarrassed, and I am there to help facilitate financial freedom alongside them.”
The programs take place much like a semester, meeting every Tuesday for nine weeks, in two-hour sessions each time. There is one person that leads the entirety of the group through the program, and then table leaders are there to host community.
Table leaders also offer time at the Dream Center, the North Charleston Seacoast Campus, and women going through divorce or women who have left abusive relationships are able to go through the program there to learn how to finance, balance checkbooks and save money.
“Table leaders, like myself, are there to drive home that others have it bad, too. You’re never alone,” said Metts. “We are there to help a seed take root.”
Rick Rainey, the leader of the CORE team at Seacoast Church, has a strong desire to guide people into freedom.
“I long for younger people to avoid the same mistakes that have already been made. That is my goal,” he said. “I want to show the hard-knocks and how we have walked through those, so that we can then show others that they don’t have to go through this same thing.”
He said that once people understand how much of a grip debt can have on them, they’ll understand why he is so passionate about what he does.
“If you don’t like living debt free, you can go get right back into debt. But, getting out of it is much tougher,” he explained.
Rainey also explained the impact that Metts has had on him and the program.
“What I like about Gary is he is so loyal—he is awesome. I know that whatever I need, he will be there,” he said. “I know he is doing everything he can to pass his knowledge along to others.”
Metts explained that his journey to help others find financial freedom does not end at Seacoast.
“A lot of people from my own community here at CSU will knock on my door and tell me they need help. I keep it completely confidential, but I help them begin their debt free journey, right here on campus,” he said.
His main goal is for people to know that their finances should be based on biblical principles like all other aspects of our lives.
Later this year, Seacoast will be hosting an event called Momentum. This program was created by Dave Ramsey’s team and helps guide the congregation as a whole into financial freedom. The Dave Ramsey team has gifted Seacoast materials for free this year, and over 400 people have already signed up. You can find more information on their website at seacoast.org.
Morgan Kirby is a senior communication studies major and an intern for the Office of Marketing & Communication.