By DEUCE NIVEN
“Darkness used to hover over this building,” A New Beginning Home Care Agency co-owner Jamie Ward-Glenn said during a grand re-opening program for the East 5th Street business Thursday.
Several dozen people gathered in front of the two-story building that sits prominently adjacent to the Tabor City School, it slated for a grand opening later this month.
Both have been transformed since the “pill mill” operated by former Dr. Jong Whan Kim and his assistant, Tammy Lynn Thompson, was shut down following their June 29, 2018 arrests.
An investigation initiated by the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office soon became a federal prosecution, and both Kim and Thompson are serving sentences for what they did in the former office building.
Ward-Glenn, during Thursday’s ribbon cutting ceremony, described the months after the physician moved his practice from Elizabethtown to Tabor City as “hell.”
“The darkness was heavy,” Ward-Glenn said, noting that her family, including husband Mike Glenn, had made their home next door to the office building.
“Our dogs could sense it,” Ward-Glenn said. “Our grass was dying. It was evil.”
‘Our tiny little office’
Founded by Ward-Glenn and her mother, Cathy Ward, A New Beginning has been a family focused journey with highs and lows that led them to their new business home.
“Thirteen years ago we started in our tiny little office right beside Fowler’s Grill,” Ward-Glenn said. “So many times we talked about finding a larger office with more space because we were bursting at the seams, but we could never find the heart to leave.
“After 13 years, that little office became our second home. We experienced so much growth, many valleys, laughter, love, and even much heartache there.”
That heartache included the Sept. 11, 2020 killing of her brother, Albert “AJ” Soles Jr., 24, in a Myrtle Beach shooting.
“Our greatest heartache was losing my baby brother,” Ward-Glenn said.
“AJ” won’t be forgotten, Ward-Glenn said, “and we still honor him in everything we do. These past three years have been the most trying and hardest.”
Early this year, in January, “things begin to shift and a sense of deep healing began to take place within, a sense that God wanted to do something new,” Ward-Glenn said. “He wanted to spring fourth something new. I said ‘OK, God, whatever your plan is, I am here.”
Ward-Glenn said it seemed time for the business to evolve.
“Next thing I know there was a for sale sign up over here,” Ward-Glenn said.
A phone call to Realtor Darian Ransom yielded some disappointing news. The building was under contract.”
“About two weeks went by and he called me back to let me know the bid fell through and I needed to meet him that day to look at the building,” We met, and someone else was there, too.
“The next morning, we placed a bid, and so did the other person. Obviously, our bid won. God opened every door after that, and continues to.”
For more on this story see this week’s Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.