FBC Pell City Ďadoptioní ministry incorporates entire churchcomment (1)
September 1, 2011
By Anna Keller
Ask Kevin Walls and he’ll tell you his church’s children’s ministry is based on a variation of Matthew 16:18: “On this rock, I will build my church.” The interim minister to children said the mantra of First Baptist Church, Pell City, is “On this church, we build our children.”
To support that claim, Walls has established several new initiatives at the St. Clair Baptist Association church, including an “adoption” program.
“I tried to come up with a different word than ‘adoption,’ but I couldn’t think of a better term,” he said. “We asked church members to adopt a child in our church family as a way to incorporate our entire church in our church ministry — seniors, young adults, parents. We wanted to give an opportunity to our church members to take ownership with the children’s ministry.”
Walls and his wife, Jamie, spearheaded the program, creating “adoption papers” for the 70-plus children. The papers included a photo of the child, some of his or her likes and dislikes and prayer requests for the new school year.
“We charged the kids with obeying their teachers over the school year, studying hard, etc., and meanwhile charged the adults to pray for their adopted child every day of the school year,” Walls said. “They had to agree to look for opportunities to bless this child during the school year.”
The church responded enthusiastically, adopting every single child during a recent Sunday night service.
“It showed me they certainly want to support our children through spiritual encouragement and prayer,” Minister of Education/Administration Tim Gold said. “You’ve got to have an encouraging membership to uplift the children and obviously we have that. I’m proud of the church.”
First, Pell City, members James and Ann Dendy were quick to participate in the adoption. They’re now “adoptive parents” to 8-year-old Gabe Rivera and look forward to offering him support throughout the school year. On his adoption papers, Gabe asked for prayers for good grades, new friends and letting his light shine for Jesus.
“Who better to pray for the children of our church than our church family?” Ann Dendy said. “I think this program has excited many of the adults in our church. Our church really values supporting children in church and Sunday School.”
James Dendy said he is especially looking forward to praying for good friendships for Gabe, since finding the right friends is such an important part of a child’s life and growth.
As for Walls, he plans to keep the church and community updated on the program via Facebook and newsletter updates. For instance, if a child does something like praying with someone or sharing Christ at school, then an anonymous post will be placed on Facebook to give everyone an idea of what’s going on in relationships with adoptive parents.
Gold has been pleased with the new ideas Kevin and Jamie Walls have brought to First, Pell City.
“Typically for children’s ministry, you’ll have a group of volunteers, but what they’ve done has captured the attention and the focus of the church at large to understand the necessity to bring children before the Lord,” he said.