What did First Baptist Church do in support of the state’s recent tornado victims?
Our church partnered with WBIR Channel 10 to collect needed supplies and money for relief. Through the generosity of the community, we filled a 26-foot truck with immediate care items and delivered them to Macon County. First Baptist Church of Knoxville is coordinating teams of volunteers every Friday and Saturday, beginning this week, to go to Macon County and assist in clean-up and relief efforts. Being a Volunteer is about more than football. Our community has a tradition of helping those in need. As Christians, we are called to share the love of Christ through all kinds of storms.
Are these types of outreaches typical for the church?
It is hard to think of a response to disaster as typical. The members of our church, and the Knoxville community, have shown overwhelming support in times of crisis. When hurricane Katrina hit, our church was able to house refugees at the church, collect donations for relief, and send teams to work in New Orleans. When the storms destroyed parts of Tennessee, our response was to find ways to help. But this attitude does not only apply to natural disasters. Our church is active in working within our community to make a difference. Through mentoring at-risk kids to working to help families in transitional housing, to our food pantry and work with the city to address homelessness, creating an atmosphere of service is essential to living out the Gospel.
As youth pastor, did you involve the church’s teenage population in the outreach?
Our students are heavily involved in our church’s mission efforts. Our young people will be taking a trip to Macon County over Spring Break to aide in the clean up and rebuilding. In the past, our youth were the first team from our church to go to New Orleans to help with reconstruction. We are active in our community efforts and mission focus. Our youth are a part of our global partnership with the Croatian Baptist church through summer missions and ongoing support. As a youth pastor, it is important to help our students look beyond themselves and know that there is more to life than money and success. Our greatest joy can come from using the gifts we have to help those in need.