Rural Rolla church blesses students heading back to school
ROLLA—Macedonia Baptist Church continued its “Back to School Fair” ministry for the second year as students coming back for the new school year gathered in the high school cafeteria Aug. 7 to pick up free supplies.
Last year the church began its ministry by reaching more than 200 people. This year, people began lining up 45 minutes early for the event as it wound up touching more than 300.
“It was just terrific,” said Macedonia Baptist Pastor Kerry High. “Everyone was just as friendly as could be. They were grateful to be able to get the things. A lot of the things we were giving away were to families who couldn’t afford them.”
Macedonia Baptist is a rural church located four miles north of Rolla. It runs about 80 in worship. High, who has served as the church’s pastor since 1996, said the back-to-school event is viewed by the congregation as an opportunity to share the Gospel and meet people from the community at the same time.
“We’re an Acts 1:8 church, and we decided that this is what we want to be able to do—reach as many people as we can throughout our community,” High said. “We saw just a great opportunity, a great mission field that was there.”
The giveaway consisted of puppet skits by young evangelists, free hot dogs, chips and soda, colored bead necklaces, balloon animals, and face painting. It lasted two hours. A total of 75 families filled out registration forms; 32 of those families are not attending church anywhere.
“We’re going to be following up with each one of those,” High said.
Children attending the church’s Vacation Bible School participated in a contest where they wound up giving $413 for missions. That became seed money for the school outreach event.
“People just kept donating money,” High said. “We got up to about $900. It really surprised me as to how many people wanted to get involved in it. We had people calling in who I’d never heard of before wanting to be able to donate money to it.”
The church then went out and purchased the school supplies that they subsequently gave away. They put together a total of 185 supply boxes.
“I expect next year that it would grow even larger than that,” High said. “I believe that any church can do this, if you have the desire to be able to do it.”