Meeting needs: Local church hosts community outreach week

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 23, 2016

Members of First Baptist Church of Picayune hosted a community appreciation lunch for members of the community.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

Members of First Baptist Church of Picayune hosted a community appreciation lunch for members of the community.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

The members of First Baptist Church of Picayune are no strangers to mission work. Many of the church’s parishioners have participated in missionary and outreach projects around the world in locations such as Africa, New York and California.
However, last year, church leaders decided to “share hope, love and the message of Jesus Christ” with residents of Pearl River County.
“We wanted to make sure we didn’t neglect our own community,” First Baptist Church Associate Pastor of Adults and Missions Ryan Wade said. “We went out asking people how we can serve our city, schools and foster care families.”
This week, church members from ages 6 to 80 participated in community outreach events, which began with a worship service at Picayune’ Criminal Justice Center last Sunday, Wade said.
The church also hosted a foster family fun day, where families participated in games and fishing activities, he added.
During the week, members visited five nursing homes and assisted living facilities, Wade said.
“We sang hymns and brought desserts,” he said. “The kids made bookmarks and crafts for residents.”
Volunteers visited area schools and helped move furniture, clean and paint, he said. In addition, members volunteered at a local food bank, Christian Care Ministries, and also participated in clean up efforts throughout the city of Picayune.
Wednesday, members picked, bagged and distributed vegetables throughout the neighborhood, Wade said.
“We prayed for people and encouraged them and brought a smile to people’s week,” Wade said.
Friday, they hosted a ladies dinner for members of Teen Challenge of Mississippi in Poplarville. The event will end Saturday evening with a block party for the children hosted by First Baptist Church of Picayune in conjunction with Rose of Sharon Church, Wade said.
Thursday, the church invited officers from the Picayune Police Department, the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department, Picayune Fire Department, employees of the city of Picayune and employees from both Picayune and Pearl River County School Districts to an appreciation lunch at The Link.
Members of the General Federation Women’s Club – Civic Women’s Club of Picayune junior service group, the Juniorette Diamonds, along with church members, served food to guests.
“We wanted to express our appreciation for their service to our community and who don’t hear ‘thank you’ as often as they should,” Wade said. “A lot of the time people only know what a church is against. We are here to share hope, love and bring healing to the brokenness in communities and our neighborhoods. As followers of Jesus, we observe the needs in our community and see how we can meet it and make a difference.”

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