There is now an SBC of Virginia church in Alleghany County, VA, and it happened because of a flood and a legacy.
In June 2016, Fincastle Baptist Church (located in Fincastle, VA just outside of Roanoke) reached out to the town of Covington after a flood that affected portions of Covington, western Alleghany County, and Greenbriar, WV. Fincastle responded with Ready Church volunteers (known as the Go Team) and developed a plan to provide furniture and appliances to flood victims. In partnership with SBCV Disaster Relief and with the help of Vision Virginia funds, Fincastle was able to help close to 500 families.
Prior to the flood, there were already 75–100 people from the Covington area who would drive to Fincastle for church. People in that area knew about Fincastle Baptist, but the church’s flood response allowed the community to see the love of Jesus in action. Numerous Gospel conversations took place, and a pastor’s vision was about to take flight. This vision had been bubbling in Pastor Cummings’ heart for a while. “For almost 10 years,” he shares, “God has been building on my heart to do something in Covington, Alleghany County, Bath County, and in Greenbriar County, WV. I had traveled this region through my connection with high school sports.”
Then the phone call came—an unexpected gift. In December 2016, Pastor Cummings heard from a church trustee in Covington. The man said, “We’ve decided to give you our church.” Unbeknownst to Cummings, a struggling church in Covington had voted to close its doors (after declining to an attendance of eight). With Fincastle’s ministry in the community having become widely known, the church determined to give its assets to Fincastle. Flabbergasted, Cummings asked him to explain. The man continued, “We voted on Sunday to give you our church.” Transferring their property to Fincastle was their way of preserving a legacy of worship and missions since 1929 when the church began. After much prayer and discussion of the proposal, Fincastle decided to start a new campus at the donated church building in Covington. Fincastle Baptist is now one church meeting in two locations.
Once the property was obtained, a steering committee of members local to Covington developed a strategy for planting the Highlands Campus of Fincastle Baptist Church. Fincastle volunteers worked tirelessly to make the upgrades and renovations needed to the building. The Highlands Campus began with evening worship services in the fall of 2017 with plans to add a campus pastor and move worship services to Sunday morning when the time is right. Through outreach activities and events and by adopting five local schools (to help with school supplies), Fincastle Baptist Church is continuing to minister to the Covington community.
As he was quoted in the local paper, Pastor Kevin Cummings says, “Only God could take something bad like a flood and make something good come out of it.”
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