By Mitch Shiffer
FLORISSANT—Ten academic school years ago, Parker Road Baptist Church started a ministry that focused on praying for area schools and resulted in the delivery of cookie trays to those schools.
The cookies were accompanied by a note to teachers which read, “Welcome back to the 2000-2001 school year. We want you to know that Parker Road Baptist Church is praying for you and your students this year.”
In the beginning of the ministry, this consisted of two schools and one district office, with a production of 190 dozen trays. The church now delivers cookie and fruit trays to two district offices and eight schools in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. The ministry produced 312 dozen trays for the current school year to minister in the name of Christ.
Jim McCaughan, minister of missions at Parker Road Baptist, spoke about how the ministry came out of a need for the church to get involved in the community. During the first year, McCaughan composed a bulletin on how to pray for schools. When Parker Road began praying for schools in 2001, some parents complained that the schools their child or children were attending were not getting prayer. McCaughan expanded the ministry the following year by adding more schools and addressing the parents.
“We had to start in Jerusalem first, and spread out to Judea and Samaria later,” he said.
The efforts by Parker Road Baptist were met with appreciation by teachers and church members. The church began receiving thank you notes and also prayer requests from teachers in the schools. About four months into the initial year, the district superintendant requested a meeting with the pastor to discuss membership at Parker Road. That led to a high-ranking school official becoming a member of the church that ministers to the school district. It also resulted in the baptism of his wife and daughter in 2001.
“One of my goals in 2000 was to get Parker Road Church in touch with their community,” McCaughan said. “This is one of the most successful efforts we’ve tried to get the church in touch with the community.”
A note on a tray of cookies lets the people in the Ferguson-Florissant School District know that the people at Parker Road Baptist Church are praying for them. Even though the note contains few words, letting people know they are being prayed for can yield much appreciation and also the possibility of even larger results.