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Community missions 'transformational' says Hahira First Baptist pastor

 

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A clothes closet, with items given away freely, was a popular part of the Community Day hosted last October by Hahira First Baptist Church.

HAHIRA — In more than two decades as pastor of Hahira First Baptist Church, David Gordon has gotten a feel for the people there. About a year ago he realized that although missions was a part of the church, it was more or less something “dabbled” with.

That changed in a big way last fall when the congregation, along with other local churches, spearheaded a Community Day outreach effort in the surrounding area. As many as 900 people were helped through ways such as the giveaway of clothing and household items such as appliances, baby beds, and toys. Free medical and dental care was available, too.

In addition, free food was provided at nearby Hahira United Methodist Church, bounce houses entertained children while parents shopped, gospel music filled the air, and Bibles were presented along with the gospel. Gordon reported eight professions of faith at the end of the day.

“It was amazing that a family could come and get everything they needed,” he said.

First Baptist has had members on missions stateside in Wyoming and internationally in Ukraine. The local missions push has brought its own benefits, though.

“The change in our people has been transformational,” stated Gordon. “They get fired up to partner with other churches in helping at a soup kitchen. Our community missions director is constantly filled with ideas for reaching our [area], and doing a wonderful job in organizing our church to bring Christ to people in need.”

 

A focus on compassion

Chad Daugherty, 33, developed a missions committee at the church two months ago to better coordinate efforts both locally and beyond.

Last summer around 16 members of Hahira First Baptist took part in Community Day for the SBC annual meeting. A partnership with Fire and Light Community Church in suburban Baltimore came out that. On March 8 Mark Swann, Fire and Light’s pastor, will preach at Hahira First Baptist. Also, a group of First Baptist members are going to Jackson Hole, WY in June to help with a Community Day hosted by a church plant.

A longer version of this article is available at www.christianindex.org.