Originally published in Western Recorder – www.westernrecorder.org
Henderson—A western Kentucky church partnered with Long Run Baptist Association to donate sports equipment to an urban Louisville ministry.
Zion Baptist Church in Henderson has been collecting the equipment for years for a ministry that never quite came to fruition. In effort to do something meaningful with the large amount of equipment, they contacted the Kentucky Baptist Convention, which pointed them to Long Run Baptist Association and the Louisville Baptist Fellowship Center.
“We were just looking for someone to partner with and hopefully this will blossom into a partnership,” Doug Hamblin, student pastor at Zion, said. Hamblin helped deliver the equipment, and explained that the church was glad to see the equipment put to use and to get a chance to work with the Baptist Fellowship Center.
“A donation like this is another reminder of the importance of partnerships, like this one between a church in western Kentucky and an inner-city ministry in west Louisville,” Eric Allen, KBC missions mobilization team leader, said.
“The Baptist Fellowship Center hasn’t had the means to minister to youth through sports camps and recreational activities the way they’d like to, but that has all changed with this generous gift from Zion Baptist Church,” Allen added.
Damon Armstead, executive director of the Baptist Fellowship Center, said that this equipment would be given to needy families whose children wanted to participate in sports but cannot afford the equipment.
“We want to use those items as an incentive for them to some way volunteer in the community on behalf of the Baptist Fellowship Center and the mission that we are trying to accomplish here,” Armstead said. “Much in the same way that the Bible teaches us that since we have freely been given, we have to freely give. That’s what we’re looking to do.”
This sports equipment ministry is just one of many things the Baptist Fellowship Center does. In addition to counseling services, emergency assistance, and a summer day camp, among other things, they recently had a back-to-school block party in the neighborhood.
Armstead, who has been the executive director since January, is seeking more ways for the Center to not only “collaborate in leadership,” he said, referring to the board being made up of nine members from each association, “but also in followership.”
Collaborative ministry is one of the center’s core values. “To be able to do collaborative ministry and be able to show forth the love of Christ as one has always been a value that the center has held,” Armstead said.
“Just as the Bible tells us that folks will know us by our fruit, and we need to have love one toward another. Christ’ prayer for us was that we would be one even as He and the Father were one,” he said.
“When you get people working on behalf of Christ, race becomes less of an issue in regards to that,” he said. “That’s how we do it.”
Allen added, “This gift of sports equipment is very timely considering the unique ministry of BFC to Louisville’s west end and the racial tension we are experiencing in our country.” (WR)