Clifford Baptist Church (Amherst, Virginia) established a Good News Club (GNC) in Central Elementary School in the town of Amherst, Virginia in 2012. This after-school group meets on most Monday afternoons during the school year, with approximately 20 church volunteers teaching the truths of Jesus’ love to children in grades K through 5th. The program includes singing, memorizing Bible verses, prayer groups, Bible-based games, and a Bible story lesson. All GNC members receive a bright T-shirt and are encouraged to wear it on Mondays, “advertising” club meetings.
In the past seven years, the GNC has shepherded more than 300 students through the program, with many children attending club meetings all six years at the school. There have been more than a dozen children who have been saved within this ministry, and several of them have been baptized at Clifford Baptist Church.
One great celebration of this Good News Club has been with the Connelly family. Parents Jason and Amy have been faithful to encourage all three of their children to attend the weekly GNC meetings. Twins Trace and Ryan graduated from the program’s fifth-grade group in 2016; their younger sister Kelsey graduated this year. The result of this family’s involvement with Good News Club is their household’s salvation, with parents and children coming to Christ and experiencing baptism at Clifford Baptist Church. Kelsey summed it up best in her graduation address to the GNC group: “If I could take one thing with me to middle school, it would be the love that each one of the Good News volunteers showed me and every other member through the last six years. I always looked forward to the smiles and joy each of you gave me every Monday as I walked through these doors. It shows that you care about and love us kids so much, and you thoroughly enjoy teaching Jesus’ love for us… Good News Club is important because learning about the love of Christ when you are young is key to paving the way to live our lives to honor the Lord… Thank you to every one of you (who) volunteers your time every week. The work and effort you put into the Good News Club change lives.”
Clifford Church’s Senior Pastor, Michael Fitzgerald, is actively involved in meetings each week. He sees this chapter of the GNC as one of the most vital ministries the church has developed in his 37 years there. Clifford Church took its Good News Club into its eighth year as school began this fall.