They are reaching back and helping the community. Every summer, members of Baconton Missionary Baptist Church volunteer their time to assist with two of the church’s outreach programs.
Pastor Hermon Scott said the church’s summer lunch program began in 2002 with three ladies passing out sack lunches from the county’s summer lunch program. In 2003, church members Helen Woods and Johnnie Hampton volunteered to cook hot lunches. The lunches were distributed at no cost.
“Our intent is to provide lunches to those children close to our church who would have had a free lunch at school, but because school is not in session they may not be able to get a hot meal,” Scott said. “Our goal is to offer lunch during the entire time school is out of session. We truly desire to be on the ‘right side’ of Matthew 25.”
Now, about 100 people are served daily through the lunch program. Woods said that as many as 139 people have been fed in one day. “Customers” have included city of Walthourville workers and a lady who came from Midway every day, Woods said. Meals also were delivered to people who were unable to come and get them.
“The people are happy for a hot meal. It’s a blessing that we are able to do it. Deacon Rudolph Walton and Deacon David Washington helped us with cleaning up after we served the hot meals,” she said.
The church’s summer camp, another volunteer-based program, began in 2006, Scott said. This year, the camp has 45 members, which Scott noted as the program’s highest enrollment to date.
The summer camp ran Mondays through Fridays from June 4-22 with the theme of “Learning God’s Word the Summer Fun Way.” Camp Director Wyanda Bush said activities included classes on manners, character education and water safety; performing a skit based on what was learned; and trips to the movies and the Kahuna water slide.
“We have a great group of volunteers, and this allows us to offer a quality camp experience at a very nominal cost,” Scott said. “We realize that many of our campers would not have the opportunity to attend a summer camp at full cost so our church underwrites the cost of camp.”
“I learned that children are eager to learn, both academically and biblically,” camp Director Wyanda Bush said. “The kids enjoyed learning God’s word the summer fun way. When we make learning the Bible fun, they will enjoy it and want to come back for more.”
Scott said the programs cost about $20,000 per year and tax-deductible donations are welcome to Baconton Elijah Project Inc.