Jason Grissom, student ministry pastor at Broadway Baptist Church in Southaven, heard from members of his youth group who wanted to continue serving others once they returned from mission trips that took them away from home.
It was on the pressing of the youth that Grissom and the church took on what became a church-wide effort known as Serve Local. Church members took on the first of what is hoped to be many Serve Local projects this past weekend for a home in Southaven.
“We did a roofing job,” Grissom said. “We also did a lot of yard clean up for a Southaven residence. We were also working on fixing up the back portion of their house so she has access to her bedroom because there were some mold issues in the house.”
Grissom said Serve Local is an opportunity to do things together as a church and do something locally.
“We do a lot of missions in other places and do a lot of these similar projects in other places, but we wanted to do this and invest in our own community alongside of that,” Grissom said.
The Bible verse, found in Acts 1:8, is quoted as a theme for their missionary desires. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
“We want to go to all of the earth and we first start with our own Jerusalem,” Grissom said. “Our Jerusalem is right here in DeSoto County and Southaven.”
Grissom said about 75 church members were part of the activity, which was a welcome turnout for a first-time project.
“It was a three-day project, Friday and Saturday, and then we finished everything up on Sunday afternoon,” Grissom explained. “On Saturday alone, we had about 60 come. We broke up into teams to love on this single mom with three children who are trying to make ends meet. She had some real needs, especially with the mold in her home.”
The family that became the beneficiary of the Serve Local project was recommended to Broadway Baptist by Sacred Heart Southern Missions.
“It was through word of mouth that I contacted Lois Harrison with Sacred Heart Southern Missions back in July and she recommended this family,” Grissom explained. “That’s when we hit the ground running.”
Grissom said the church is not completely finished helping the family, as phase two of their outreach will be to build on the back side of the home.
Material for the project was provided at cost by Lowe’s of Southaven, Grissom said, adding the project had people doing clean up and landscaping, in addition to the roofing work. A washer and dryer were donated to the family by a church member, while another donated a lawn mower.
“Our people really have a heart to serve in tangible ways to reach out to our community,” said Grissom. “We plan to do these projects 2-3 times a year. It’s a big project and a lot of planning goes into it. In a couple of weeks, we’ll start seeking out our next family, in Southaven or DeSoto County, that we want to reach out to, share the Gospel of Christ and love on them.”
Bob Bakken is Managing Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune.