Chaplain Marcia McMullen DeRush has opened her heart and the doors of her office with special individuals in mind. McMullen House of Heroes is a safe haven where the chaplain offers a multitude of things other than guidance.
Veterans, active military, first responders and their families are invited to stop by the little chapel on MaMac Road for not only their spiritual health, but also for their physical and mental well-being.
“I invite all military, veterans, and first responders to come in and have a cup of coffee, tea, or water and a snack if they are in need of a place of quiet to reflect or even do paperwork before they head home,” says DeRush.
Derush started the McMullen House of Heroes in 2020 after the death of her father Cpl. Robert F. McMullen. She grew up in a military family full of men who served in multiple branches of services. She also has a brother who served in the Navy during Vietnam and later became a police officer. She saw firsthand the physical and mental toll these careers take on an individual. Her office is decorated in honor of the heroes that grace her doors.
The chaplain has been a follower of Christ since her teenage years, and that great love for the ministry stayed with her into adulthood. She became an ordained minister in 2008 and a chaplain in 2017.
She holds Bible class or video series studies for small groups of one to six people, and she helps collect supplies when folks are impacted by disasters. She collaborates with other religious leaders in the community for resourcing, and she’s always available for church groups or other events.
Her current goal in to get youngsters in on her ministry.
“I’m going to work on having a Junior Chaplain summer day camp for middle and high school students in the future,” explained DeRush.
Her main focus may be spiritual warfare, but she is certified to handle almost any obstacle that comes her way.
DeRush is CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) trained and certified, and she is currently the vice president of Columbus County Disaster Response. She is also CISM (individual and group crisis response) certified, does grief counseling, and is active in the Call for Backup organization for suicide prevention and awareness. She takes on pastoral counseling including pre-marital counseling, and is well versed in first aid, CPR and other first responder training.
The McMullen House of Heroes located at 136 MaMac Road in Whiteville. It is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., and chapel is held on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. with the last Thursday of the month alternated. The schedule may vary at times, but changes can be found on the establishments Facebook page. For more information about the House and what services it offers, call 910.317.0233.