Forty churches from five states recently sent more than 675 volunteers to join forces and share the love of Christ through community projects with local residents for Southern Baptists’ Serve Tour stop in Meridian, Mississippi.
“One overall theme was the blessing stated by project leaders to have multiple churches serving together on a single project,” said coordinator Sammy Simmons, national project director for Send Relief, the joint compassion ministry of the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board. From the perspective of a project leader, he said, “It was refreshing to watch everyone working together in unity. It was a true testimony of the love of Christ.”
“We had a fantastic rally [on the evening of March 18] with great energy with Dr. Shawn Parker and several team members from Mississippi Baptists, Dr. Ed Litton, and General Doug Carver all present and on stage for different segments,” he said of the March 18–19 event.
Parker is executive director-treasurer of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. Litton is SBC president and pastor of Redemption Church, Saraland, Alabama. Carver is a retired former chief of chaplains of the U.S. Army and ordained Southern Baptist minister who presently serves as the NAMB’s executive director of chaplaincy.
A closer look at the numbers
Members of the Mississippi Disaster Relief Task Force provided a full meal for the March 18 evening rally and lunches on March 19. Other statistics released by Simmons in the executive summary in addition to the 675-plus volunteers from 40 churches include:
— Total projects: 32, 19 of which were public works projects coordinated with the City of Meridian
— People served: 2,828
— Gospel conversations: 530
— Salvations: 9
— Meals distributed: 2,754
— Construction hours: 3,122
“I saw firsthand how churches were blessed, ministries were expanded and the gospel was shared in a winsome way,” Parker said in a written statement. “I truly praise the Lord for everyone who participated and all that was accomplished for God’s glory!”
For information on the remaining stops on the national Send Relief Serve Tour, click here.