Eddie Schapira is, in many ways, well-known to our members. He and Scott Gerding are co-owners of River Birch Lodge, the location of one of our NCS meetings. “The Lodge”, as members refer to it, is a comfortable, mountain-casual restaurant built in the architectural style of our nation’s national park lodges. River Birch offers a warm and inviting atmosphere that has been the perfect space to gather our Friday morning men’s group.
While the men have been around Schapira for the past several years, there’s a lot more to learn about this NCS Winston-Salem member.
More than just a meeting space
Schapira’s business partner, Gerding, asked him fairly soon after they started River Birch if he minded opening up the restaurant for a small group of guys to have some meetings. Schapira agreed – mainly because his business partner had asked. Eventually, Gerding invited Schapira to attend. And invited him again. And one Friday morning, Schapira showed up for the meeting. After hearing one of the men in attendance be vulnerable and transparent among the group of men, Schapira was both intrigued and hooked on coming back. 15 years later, he is still showing up.
Three things members may not know
First, some of the regulars may know this but likely not everyone: Schapira was the last guy looking for or interested in believing in a Savior.
“I grew up in a Jewish family and would never have imagined that I would put my trust in Jesus one day,” shared Schapira.
Second, he counts one of his biggest “God moments” as when he asked Jesus into his heart. Schapira was sitting at table four (where the Davie county boys sit on Fridays), and as soon as he accepted Christ, the emptiness that he’d had throughout his life was gone and was filled with His love.
“Joy and peace that goes beyond understanding is what I felt. It was a powerful moment that I will never forget – and it is nice to reflect on it now,” said Schapira.
Finally, members may not know that if Schapira had endless amounts of time he would travel and explore the beautiful places God has made - including fly fishing whenever possible!
Living out his faith
The hardest part about living out his faith is dying to himself and putting others first, according to Schapira. It’s also a daily struggle for him to remember that he has the Holy Spirit within to help him do this.
Aside from the challenge of daily faith-living, Schapira strives to embody part of the mission of NCS, having a friendship with Jesus. For him, this means feeling safe, not judged and above all, loved.
“At NCS I’ve made friends that I know I can count on no matter what. When I have fallen short they have picked me up and have loved me like Jesus does. And while I love my brothers, my wife does this better than anyone,” Schapira said.
The brothers know how much Schapira loves them. As he declared, “Only Jesus could make this selfish man get up at 5:00 am to make coffee for 150+ guys.”
Doing this has taught him that when you bless others, you too will be blessed.
“That’s not why we do it but it’s funny when guys thank us for opening up River Birch. Scott and I just shake our heads because we are the ones that feel blessed. It’s all God’s anyway.”