ON A MISSION: FBC’s Global Impact Conference highlights missions efforts
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Members of First Baptist Church in Troy are inviting the community to join them as they seek to “Change our city, change the world.”
The church will host its third annual Global Impact Celebration this week, beginning with a kickoff service and special program at 6 p.m. today.
“This five-day missions event is dedicated to learning about opportunities from right down the street (such as Sav-A-Life, Christian Mission or Burning Bush Cowboy Church), across our state, region and nation to the ends of the earth (such as Italy, Costa Rica, Israel and Africa),” said Stephanie Baker, who co-chairs the event with Morgan Drinkard.
The church will host more than 60 missionaries, representing the 26 different ministries served by the church, both financially and through volunteer efforts, as part of the GIC event.
“This event gives our church members a first-hand accounting of the mission work,” said Chris Strube, pastor for missions and students. “Members and the community will be hearing from the ministries with their success stories for the past year as well as plans for the year ahead.”
Strube said the church’s slogan – “Change our city, change the world” – helps members realize the importance of mission work both at home and abroad. “As a church member, it drives me to realize the importance of having an impact in our own backyard and being a part of what God is doing around the world.”
The missions supported by FBC and its members are as varied as church planting efforts, in places such as Panama City Beach and Costa Rica; humanitarian efforts such that help feed the hungry locally or build houses for those in need; outreach efforts such as the Baptist Student Ministries or the Christian Mission; and programs such as Common Ground, an inner-city ministry based in Montgomery founded by a former Troy University baseball player.
“Pastor Luke Lane has been focusing us on Acts 1:8, which commands us to spread the Gospel through the different regions,” said Drinkard, who recently help lead a mission trip to Costa Rica. “But mission trips start with your neighbor, the person next door to you, and go to the ends of the earth.”
That message, she said, is at the core of the GIC program. “We’re commanded to do that, and it doesn’t look like the same thing for everybody.”
One of those missions close to home is Common Ground, based in Montgomery. Founder Bryan Kelly will be a featured speaker at tonight’s service.
“Bryan is a Troy State grad and was a member of First Baptist Church’s college program while he was a student,” Baker said. “He was a Trojan baseball player and also met his wife, Delta, on campus.”
Beyond the connections to the local community, Baker said Kelly has “an amazing story of a vision for Montgomery’s inner city youth. Common Ground has grown exponentially in scale, activities and success stories, including Bryan’s joy in being able to see one of his youth receive a scholarship so he can be the first one in his family – and one of the few in his neighborhood – to attend college.”
Baker said she suspects many people in the Troy community would enjoy hearing about Kelly’s remarkable story and his continued vision for Common Ground.
Moreover, organizers are hoping the public will take the time to join in the GIC activities this week. “We have so many people who tell us they didn’t realize we have people from Italy, from India, from all over the world here to talk about the missions,” Drinkard said.
The kickoff service is 6 p.m. today at First Baptist Church and includes special music with soloist and recording artist Christopher Culpepper; a welcome from Mayor Jason Reeves, who has proclaimed Jan. 20-24 “2016 Global Celebration Week” in the City of Troy; and a message from Kelly.
Additional services, which are open to the public, will be at 10:15 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday at the church.