Phenix City’s Emmanuel reaches local children through teddy bear ministrycomment (0)
September 6, 2012
When Alan Griffith, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Phenix City, called Lynn Hammock, executive director of the Russell County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) and offered teddy bears to children who visit the center, it didn’t take long for Hammock’s response to be “of course.”
Approximately 150 children walk through the doors of the CAC to be interviewed for allegations of sexual abuse, severe physical abuse and/or severe maltreatment and neglect. After every interview a child gets to go to the shelf in the CAC conference room and pick out a stuffed animal to take home with him or her. It is one way the CAC tries to provide comfort to those who come to the center to deal with issues that most don’t want to admit even happen, CAC officials explained.
The stuffed animals provide a sense of security and also remind the children that no matter what, there are people who care about them. Some returning children have had the same teddy bear they picked out months and years prior.
Members of Emmanuel Baptist want to impact the children of their community with the love of Jesus, and the teddy bear ministry is a way to do that, Griffith said. The church also partners with Jack Hughston Hospital in Phenix City to provide teddy bears to children as needed.
“It is our hope that the teddy bears will bring some comfort at a critical point in [a child’s] life and open the door for continued ministry opportunities,” Griffith said.
Editor’s Note — A version of this article first appeared in the Phenix City newspaper, The Citizen of East Alabama.