Barbour Association starts menís missions groupcomment (0)
January 5, 2012
By Anna Keller
I’m for all missions around the world, but I think we need to start here at home,” said Curtis Rich, director of missions for Barbour Baptist Association. “So I wanted to get men together to start a missions program in the association to help anyone who had a need.”
First up: Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Eufaula, which needed work done on its exterior. Though the work wasn’t major, the congregation wasn’t able to handle it on its own.
“Our church has a small congregation and it’s mainly elderly women. We have men at the church but most are older, too,” Pastor Terry Birdsong said. “We don’t have the resources here to do it.”
So Rich gathered young men from other churches to help out — a group that began calling itself The Beginning. The group went to Pleasant Hill Baptist on Nov. 19 and was able to complete the necessary repairs by 1 p.m.
Micah Price, a 23-year-old senior at Troy University, was one of the men who lent a hand with the project, and he said the experience is one he hopes to repeat.
“The members were enthusiastic about us being there and excited about the work being done,” said Price, a member of Clayton Baptist Church.
“They were encouraging and supportive the whole time we were there.”
And Pleasant Hill members were able to contribute to the repairs as well, footing the bill for the materials and lunch for the men via funds from their Woman’s Missionary Union group and brotherhood organization. With those materials, the men repainted awnings above entrances, cleaned out gutters, replaced rotting wood behind gutters and pressure washed the patio areas.
“It was a wonderful morning, full of fellowship,” Birdsong said. “The church was ecstatic about the work that was done.”
He said the idea of this local missions outreach first came to him when Barbour Association churches were traveling to Tuscaloosa to help with tornado cleanup projects.
He realized the association could use similar volunteer work within its communities and, with Rich, helped jump-start The Beginning. The plan is for the group to continue helping with local projects as needed.
“We’ve talked about how these don’t have to be grand projects to be a real need,” Birdsong said. “It might involve building a wheelchair ramp at a church or a church member’s home, for example. A need is a need, and we’re here to serve needs — both physical and spiritual ones.”