Southern Heights using Upward ministry to partner with BGR

Originally published at Western Recorder –

Russellville—Upwards basketball and cheerleading ministry at Southern Heights Baptist Church of Russellville has taken on a mission project to provide clean water {insert area wells will be provided to} by purchasing wells through Baptist Global Response.

The church is raising funds for the wells by selling water at concessions during Upward’s games.

Barry McReynolds, Upward commissioner for Southern Heights, and his daughter, Courtney, thought of the project while she was looking through a BGR catalogue after church on missions’ emphasis Sunday.

“We could buy a well for a missions’ project this year. But, Dad, they cost $1,000 each. Do you think we could raise that much?” Courtney asked.

“After we talked a bit longer, both of us felt impressed that God was leading in this direction,” McReynolds said.

During the first Upward game of the year at the end of January, they began to sell water bottles donated by the church so that all proceeds went straight to the mission project.

In addition, they didn’t have a set price for the water. “We are asking for donations of any amount. We felt God could work through the generosity of His church by asking for donations,” McReynolds said.

Overall, the church has raised {insert final total}, enough for at least five wells and a lot of filters

The final Upward game took place on March 19. An awards service was held that evening, and a representative of Baptist Global Response attended to receive the check during the celebration.

McReynolds continued, “The generosity of God’s people has been on vivid display. We have had several donations where the donor has given hilariously.”

People outside the Upward ministry and the church family have donated to the cause as well.

“I think our church wants to be biblical Christians and serve the Lord, and they understand the call to be an outward focused people, a missional people. In our attempt to be obedient to the Lord, He just blessed it and provided,” said Jered Patrick, pastor of Southern Heights.

“It’s been really cool to see the Lord work and people be generous,” he said.

Patrick added, “We understand the greatest need. Obviously, we want to meet physical needs, but the great thing about being Southern Baptist is that we use physical needs to break barriers in order to get to the spiritual needs, which is the gospel to be taken to all nations. That’s played a role in God’s plan of redeeming His people across the world.”

Regardless of how many wells are purchased, God will be glorified, and Southern Heights will have had the opportunity to give water in His name.

“I can think of no better way to invest in the life of our church and our Upward families,” McReynolds concluded. (WR)