By Brian Koonce
ELSBERRY – It doesn’t necessarily take years of experience, seminary degrees or a big budget for a church to make an impact for Christ in its community. Just ask First Baptist, Elsberry.
“The Devil has a foothold on Elsberry,” said Greg Pflaster, youth minister at the church. “I’ve lived there my whole life and it’s just a very dark place. There’s a lot of addiction, a lot of generational sin. But the church at Elsberry is really seeing God work.”
One of those ways God is working is seen through the church’s ministry directly to the community of Elsberry.
Though a church that runs only in the 60s on Sunday morning, the church runs a consignment shop called The Closet three days a week in a local store front that was given to it – utilities included. Truckloads of clothes were also donated, mostly from non-believers who recognize the church’s desire to simply love the community.
“We’ve ministered to about 160 a week,” said Pastor David Rubemeyer.
Instead of building a family-life center, the church instead bought an old meeting hall in town adjacent to the store front where they run their consignment shop called “The Armory.” Soon after The Closet opened, the same people who were providing the clothes asked if the church could find a way to distribute food to people.
“I told them sure,” Rubemeyer said. “So now we’re getting food on a regular basis and we’re looking at how we can start a soup kitchen in The Armory.”
The Missouri Baptist Convention’s World Hunger fund is also assisting the church in its efforts to feed the hungry.
“It’s just incredible to watch God in action,” he said.
They’re also prayer walking the community, and not just once. They have plans to prayer walk the city seven times and are looking at other ways they can work outside the church walls.
“There’s almost not enough people to do what God has placed in our laps, but there’s plenty of God,” Rubemeyer said.