The words above are from a little girl who was impacted by the Good News Club at her school. They remind us of the impact we can have on our communities.
Having a heart and love for your community is vital to being the people of God. This is a key principle behind the efforts of Fairmont Baptist Church and the leadership of Pastor Tom Nestor.
Soon after Pastor Nestor arrived at Fairmont in Franklin County in 2019, he began looking for opportunities in the rural community of Boones Mill to love neighbors as Jesus called believers to do. That’s when the opportunity to help with a Good News Club (resourced by Child Evangelism Fellowship) arose. Nestor plugged into the group through Callaway Elementary School. Soon, the church was leading the group and connecting to local families.
In the fall and spring semesters, volunteers from the church and school staff led six weeks of an after-school club. Those six weeks make a difference in children’s lives.
The little girl who hadn’t heard of Jesus until the Good News Club put her faith in Christ and began boldly proclaiming the Gospel to her classmates. One day on the bus, a boy said, “God is mean,” but this little girl spoke up quickly. “God’s not mean! He sent Jesus to save us.” She proceeded to share what she had learned at the Good News Club.
The Good News Club is just the beginning of Fairmont’s community impact. Pastor Nestor and Fairmont have become known for their heartfelt service. “Because we are there, the school called me about a distraught parent who needed help,” explained Nestor. “My wife and I ended up counseling the couple to reconcile their marriage. We continued our relationship with periodic contact. I didn’t hear from them for a while until, one day, the man rang my doorbell. He stated they were moving away to another state for a good job. He just wanted to thank me and said that their marriage was now on solid ground and [they are] searching for a church in their new town. Sometimes availability is the most important ability we need.”
Serving the community also impacts the church making the investment. “Good News Club gives an outlet for our church to minister outside our four walls,” Nestor said. “Fall Festival, VBS, and this club bring people into the Kingdom of God, not just our church. Local schools are low-hanging fruit.”
Reach out to your local schools. Ask how your church can help. Have the heart of a servant and go out into the community to make a difference.
Praise the Lord for Fairmont Baptist Church in Boones Mill and many other churches that love their community in the name of Jesus! ■