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Shades Crest Church ‘loves’ its city with breakfast comment (0)

July 24, 2008

Mark Johnson, minister with senior adults and missional partnerships at Shades Crest Baptist Church, Bluff Park, in Birmingham Baptist Association, got some odd looks when he and members of his church handed out free breakfast June 26–July 5.

“Several people have their wallet out, ready to give you money,” Johnson said. “We never take it. We tell them we aren’t going to ask for your address nor your telephone number, not even your name.”

Shades Crest Baptist just wanted to get out one simple message through the ministry — the recipient of the muffin and juice is loved by God. It was part of the church’s ongoing We Love Our City ministry event, emphasizing to citizens of the community that not only are they loved by the church but also by God.

Though Shades Crest has been doing this ministry since 2002, the church expanded its reach this year to include all areas of Birmingham instead of just Bluff Park and Hoover. There was also a new twist on the free breakfast. This year, Shades Crest not only gave breakfast to each car’s driver and any passengers as it has done in the past but also gave an extra breakfast for the people in the car to give to someone else.

“It is a pay-it-forward breakfast,” Johnson explained. “We wanted to be a blessing to them and give them an opportunity to be a blessing to someone else.” Along with giving away around 500 breakfast bags, the church provided lunch for firefighters and police officers; took goody bags to a nursing home; did activities with Greater Birmingham Ministries, an ecumenical and interfaith organization; and prepared a local elementary school’s property for the building of an “outside classroom.”

Pastor Dennis Foust said the event provided his church members with new opportunities for ministry.
“To hear them reflect on the diversity of people who embraced the Christ within them was renewing for all of us who heard their witness and testimony,” he said.

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