This verse in the Book of Matthew impacted Eric Bates and Trae Willis so much so, they named their company after it.
“We want to be the good news guys,” Bates said.
He and Willis have made it their duty to be the Good News Guys. The Murfreesboro duo launched a handyman and grocery delivery company of the same name aimed at funding various Rutherford County-based mission projects and foreign mission endeavors.
“We consider the ‘good news’ to be Jesus Christ. We’re called to be disciples all over the world and take that good news and take it to the people – some who know it and some who can come to know it for the first time, hopefully with some of the organizations that we get involved with,” Bates continued.
“We believe that one of the world’s greatest blessings is the giving of one’s self in service to another. We all are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ both here in Rutherford County and all over the world. Good News Guys is dedicated to supporting the spirit of charity and intends to impact to the world over by spreading ‘The Good News.’”
A Good News Guys seed was planted long ago, but it only recently sprouted during a weekend trip to watch a University of Tennesse at Knoxville game.
“At that time, we had been talking about working together in some kind of capacity, but we really started to put the reigns around it that weekend,” Bates recalled.
Willis added, “We both always kind of wanted to help out. That doesn’t take away from fact that we’ve both battled quite a few demons, but always wanted to help out. We just didn’t know in what capacity.”
“I think God brought us together for specific reason for passions we both have. All the trials and things we’ve both gone through, we can both use those stories for good, as well,” he said.
Bates agreed that he and Willis found each other at when both needed accountability and support.
“Our friendship bloomed and bloomed,” he said. “We didn’t know Good News Guys was going to come out of it, but we knew that we needed to do something together.”
They created the company with the goal of funding mission trips and activities, both locally and internationally.
“We are given the trips, but we plan on participating,” Bates said. “And as our company grows, everybody that we employ will have that mission mindset.”
Both men have a strong passion for mission work – Willis likes helping abroad, and Bates lends his hands locally. Each project requires its own fundraising, but at a certain point, asking for financial support proves difficult.
“I know people can feel like they’re participating by giving you money, but we feel like we can do more and have a business that’s focused around (mission),” Willis said. “People feel like they’re participating, but in return, they’re getting a service done. We’re not just taking checks from them.”
Those services involve “pretty much anything you don’t want to do.”
“Our business is based around labor, but we also offer home grocery delivery,” Bates said. “We want to be fully integrated. Think of us as a subcontractor for your chores. We’re jack-of-all-trades, master of none. We can’t do major construction, but we can make your yard look good, we can make your home look good, and you don’t have to pay the big bucks for the big guys.”
And good news travels fast – the duo has already been hard at work on several projects, including several for Blake Martin. He hired Good News Guys’ handyman for work on a couple of his rental homes in Murfreesboro.
“I called other companies, but had a hard time getting people to take care of it,” Martin said. “Then I called Bates. He jumped on it, took control of it, and got the job finished. It was a good experience for me. I’ll be using their phone number a lot more in the near future.”
With tenants currently living inside his rental homes, Martin said professionalism and promptness are key when hiring someone to perform repairs.
“It’s important to me for people to be friendly, show up when they say they will and be professional while they’re there – ultimately, they’re a reflection of me,” he said. “(Good News Guys) were very friendly to the tenants, professional and got everything back in working condition. They can handle quite a bit, so instead of having to hunt down different people and call different numbers to get a hold of people who won’t remember me or the house, I can just call them and get the job done.”
As for the mission behind Good News Guys, Martin said, “That’s always good to hear and comforting to know. I think it’s a win-win.”
Bates said it’s important to know he and Willis won’t “knock on your door preaching.”
“And you don’t have to be a believer to hire us, but God works in mysterious ways,” he said. “He’ll have us in those places for a reason: maybe we need the revenue or maybe that person needs us beyond the service aspect.”
Good News Guys officially launches its grocery delivery on June 1, but Bates and Willis are currently available for hire on weekends. With the warm weather, lawn care and maintenance, gutter cleaning and power washing have been in high demand.
The company website www.goodnewsguys.org is live for supporters to order services or learn more about Good News Guys. Bates said photos of past projects and from an upcoming mission trip to Nicaragua will be posted soon.
“We want our family of business to see; we want to show them something tangible of how they’re impacting the world,” he said.
Good News Guys is currently partnering with Fellowship United Methodist on New Salem Highway with its Way of Hope program, wherein homeless women and children are housed every Tuesday night.
“We want to be able to really help support that,” Willis said. “We want to get the word out and help raise awareness for that locally.