Published February 26, 2009
NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Seminary students and student families have a new place to “shop” on campus. Best of all, it is a place without price tags.
On Jan. 30, NOBTS President Chuck Kelley cut the ribbon on the seminary’s brand new S.W.A.P. (Surplus with a Purpose) Shop. The shop is designed to meet immediate needs for seminarians free of charge. Since 1989 the S.W.A.P. Shop has helped students outfit their apartments, clothe their families, and make ends meet. The ministry relies entirely on donated items.
Hurricane Katrina forced the closure of the S.W.A.P. Shop. The shop’s original location, flooded by Katrina, was damaged beyond repair. Now the S.W.A.P. Shop is once again open and ready to serve the seminary community.
Thanks in part to a generous hurricane recovery gift from the Georgia Baptist Convention, a new metal building was built at the rear of campus to house the S.W.A.P. Shop. And with the slumping economy, the reopening could not come at a better time.
“The S.W.A.P. Shop is one of my favorite things to reopen after Katrina,” Kelley said. “Georgia Baptists are the ones who made this possible. We want to dedicate this with the promise Paul gave us under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the book of Philippians: ‘My God shall supply all of your needs out of His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’”
“Thank you for God’s pantry which is being opened once again for the needs of our seminary family,” he continued. “We thank Georgia Baptists. We are celebrating God’s faithfulness to the NOBTS family.”
Filled with gently worn children’s clothes, men’s suits, toys, dishes, books, and small appliances, the S.W.A.P. Shop provides a vital link between Southern Baptist churches and the seminary family. Churches and individual church members have long helped students meet their basic needs by donating quality used items.
“The S.W.A.P. Shop is an exciting ministry that provides for the practical, day-to-day needs of our campus family, and our students have been waiting expectantly for its reopening,” said NOBTS Dean of Students Craig Garrett. “ Through the generosity of the Georgia Baptist Convention, which funded the building, and the countless donors of everyday items, our students are now able to give and receive the sorts of things that make a difference in their quality of life.”
“I’ve heard countless stories of God’s provision through the S.W.A.P. Shop in the past, and I look forward to witnessing many more to come,” he said.
The metal building took six months to complete and offers 1,200 square feet of space.
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