CHADWICK – Their ministry approach may be inside the cabinet, but it’s definitely outside the box.
Open since February, First Baptist Church’s (FBC) “Community Care Cabinet” allows the church to show the love of Christ to the people of Chadwick in a quiet, yet tangible way.
“We wanted to reach out by doing something that would actually be helpful,” said Bryan Farris, deacon at FBC.
Chadwick is a rural and low-income community where many people receive some kind of federal assistance. However, most government programs don’t offer help with personal hygiene, baby care items and cleaning supplies.
“We also know our people and know that many families don’t like to ask for help when they are having a hard time,” Farris said.
So, inspired by the neighborhood libraries that share books and information, the people of FBC began plans for a Community Care Cabinet to be built adjacent to the church building.
“I had some lumber laying around my place and was able to build it pretty quick,” Farris said. “We don’t monitor it and we never lock it. It’s a kind of honor system and though, sure, we could get cleaned out from time to time, we figure the Lord will provide.”
Phillip Shuford, Director of Missions for Tri-County Baptist Association, said FBC is a great example of a traditional small-town church that, though small in number, is mighty in ministry.
“Small rural churches are struggling with ways to make an impact in their communities,” Shuford said. “FBC and its sweet fellowship of believers are freely giving to their community out of what the Lord has given them. It’s a solid witness; not beating over the head, but silently telling people, ‘We care about you and love you and Jesus loves you, too.’ I’m proud of them.”
Farris said the Community Care Cabinet is one of several ways FBC is showing love to the community. Next month they will host their second annual block party and they recently kicked off the Chadwick chapter of the Kids Outdoor Zone, an outdoor adventure ministry that provides kids with mentors and direction to become godly adults.
“We are meeting the fourth Saturday of the month no matter the weather and we’ll try to keep them outside as much as possible,” Farris said. “We teach them spiritual truths and encourage scripture memorization while teaching boys that they can do things like hunt and fish, camp and kayak, and honor God while they do them.”
With an average attendance of around 25-30 people each Sunday, it would be easy for FBC to base their ministries’ success on the number of people in the pews.
“Our prayer and hope is to not focus on growing number-wise, but instead focus on growing stronger spiritually and foundationally,” he said. “We did the Experiencing God study a little while back and it pushed us to do more than we ever have. We are ready to experience God do something awesome in Chadwick, but we also know everything is in God’s control and in His timing. The Community Care Cabinet may evolve into something more or it may stay exactly what it is. Either way, God is taking the lead.”