A South Jersey Story.
You never know how a moment in life will ripple to arrive on the shores many years later. The year was 1990, George Bush 41 was in the White House, the Hubble was launched and in the coming months we would experience the World Wide Web, the First Gulf War, the USSR would dissolve and Nick Leyva and Von Hayes led the Phillies to a 77 win season.
At a Christian Camp out in the Pinelands between Chatsworth and well not much else Freddie Schwenger was left by his parents for a week of relaxation (for them) in the capable hands of the staff of Delanco Camp. It was a fun week and Freddie got to know a counselor and the horse wrangler for the week, a guy ten years his senior from his hometown of Port Republic, Jim Schroeder.
Later on while Fred was in High School, working on a budding music career and dreaming about cars, clamming and John Calvin’s theology he was part of a missions team that went to Ohio to help with Vacation Bible School. The pastor of that church was none other than his old camp counselor, Jim Schroeder. Fred and Jim stayed in touch through the years, both going to Asbury College and not graduating, both leaving Port Republic and finding every excuse to come back.
Fred opened an auto repair shop in the blueberry capital of Hammonton. Jim bought a house and moved there, finding Fred again, pleased to have a mechanic he could trust who would support his habit of driving jalopies around south jersey to the chagrin of his law clients who expected more pretentious vehicles from their highly successful and very much a piney at heart attorney.
Fred and Jim sent their children to The Pilgrim Academy in Galloway and their second sons ended up in class together becoming fast friends. Later Fred would get the vision for starting the first Christian School based Vocational program east of the mighty Mississippi (if google is to trusted as a source). With Jim’s begrudging help he closed his shop in Hammonton and went to work teaching auto mechanics and other important life lessons at the newly created Pilgrim Academy Technical High School (hold the “THE”).
Through the next few years of teaching and having success with students working through and graduating the program Fred and Jim, who was helping put the legalities together for PATHs, kept in touch regularly. Among Fred’s dying dream of being a full time deer hunter and Jim’s dying dream of paying off his law school student loans before his children entered college a new, more achievable dream was born. Fred’s passion for working on cars, trucks and anything you put gas or diesel in and his aversion to business and finance melded with Jim’s business acumen and his ability to complete the most basic mechanic task like battery replacement in several hours and nine phone calls to Fred for instructions might turn into an opportunity for partnership.
Superior Automotive Repair is the beginnings of that vision for a partnership that provides quality automotive diagnostic and repair services, employs and supports local families, financially supports both PATHs and a Kenyan Orphanage both men care about and provides an opportunity for two old friends from a great small town to partner to bless others and their community. They even have been fishing a couple times together since July which is twice more than Jim has fished in the past five years... So we are off to a good start!
Thank you for reading and supporting local businesses, especially Superior Automotive.
We look forward to servicing your vehicle with a smile, and making sure you're taken care of for thousands of miles to come.
-Fred, James, and the Superior team.