Someone to check their teeth.
Someone to cut their hair.
Almost more than the food boxes and used clothing available
to hundreds of families in Reidsville during a September “Faith, Hope and Love”
ministry day by First Baptist Church, people sought dental care and a haircut.
Reidsville is in Rockingham County where unemployment
reached as high as 14 percent,
First Baptist conducted the ministry day intentionally on
the weekend of Sept. 11, giving hope on the anniversary of the day in American
life when so much hope collapsed in dust and broken steel girders.
Pastor Bill Duke said a deacon initiated the ministry day,
after learning about a similar day conducted by Rich Fork Baptist Church in
Thomasville. Other deacons immediately responded positively, although “with
some fear and trepidation,” said Duke, pastor at Reidsville four-and -a-half
“When they decided to do it, they just trusted the Lord was
really in this,” Duke said. “It was a great, great experience, both for the
folks who received assistance and for those at church. It has spurred us on to
be reminded that when you bless someone else you end up getting blessed
Duke said the ministry day prepared people for the revival
meeting conducted in mid-October. He was “amazed” at the revival turnout,
especially of the elderly.
Each evening began with “Dinner for a Dollar” at 6 p.m., a
time when anyone could get a soup and sandwich dinner for a dollar and have an
hour of fellowship around the table before evening services began. The typical
crowd of 125 was three or four times the normal Wednesday crowd, Duke said.
During the ministry day, Duke said people came from
all over the county. Most of the 400 boxes of food the church had prepared were
received. He said remaining boxes are being delivered to needy families the
church learns about.
Christians from other area churches were involved, and the
Salvation Army brought its feeding truck to provide a hot dog snack to
Special offerings in the church covered most of the $12,000
cost of the food boxes and holding the event.
“I didn’t want us going into this thinking it was something
we were going to do so we could get something back,” Duke said. “Our people
demonstrated that ‘I serve you in the name of Jesus’ and we shared our faith
and prayed with people.”
The following day four families that had been served
attended services to thank the church. One family had been homeless for two
years and is just moving into a place that the church is going to help them
furnish. The church already is planning to participate in the statewide
Operation Inasmuch to be held next April 24 and May 1.
And from the excitement of this project, they are hoping to
repeat the event next September and involve 25 to 100 other churches in the
county, holding a ministry day simultaneously at sites all over, providing
“caring service in the name of Christ.”
“Can you imagine what it would be like if believers came
together to do a day of service in the Kingdom of God?” Duke asked.
“God would be honored and people would be touched with the
love of Jesus.”
At the “Faith, Hope and Love” Reidsville event, more than
400 individuals, representing twice that many family members, received food,
clothing, school supplies, welcome bags, pet food and diapers. Twenty-nine
received dental services, including some prescriptions, 97 received haircuts
and 18 cars had their fluid levels checked.
And a church was ignited.
“We are seeking
new dreams and visions from God,” said Duke.