2020 was a year of challenge and triumph. Although churches weren’t able to meet and minister exactly as in the past, the challenges were a wake-up call for churches to get creative and do ministry in multiple and different ways. In Galax, members of Midway Baptist Church chose to focus on their mission rather than obstacles brought on by a worldwide pandemic. Their desire was for the church to serve as a light on the hill and to be a beacon of Christ’s love and hope for the world and their community. But how could they do that when everything they knew was no longer an option?
Pastor Myron Dalton and members of the church quickly decided to go to online and parking lot services. Social media became a quick way to share sermons and communicate with the congregation and community. In addition, the church recognized there were ongoing needs in the surrounding area and wanted to discover ways to meet those needs.
For the past three years, the church has served approximately 300 people once a month at the local soup kitchen. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, they were no longer allowed to continue this ministry. Knowing the food insecurities of their community, the folks at Midway decided to offer drive-thru community meals. They consulted with the local Virginia Department of Health to ensure they were complying with state mandates and serving safety.
The church wanted to share Christ’s love and hope for the community through this ministry. Under the Virginia Safer at Home recommendations from the governor’s office, they had to limit the number of volunteers for that first drive-thru meal. While the church could only have 10 volunteers on the feeding team, the rest of the church served by providing all of the food and supplies needed.
Their first drive-thru community meal was served on April 22, 2020, feeding 270 people in this rural community.
Midway has become a shining light of hope through the meals and through their generosity to the community. As schools prepared to open in Carroll County, Midway Baptist Church began organizing their own efforts to collect the school supplies that would be needed. They filled 200 backpacks and set up online registration for pickup to coincide with the August drive-thru meal. In this small Galax community that was already struggling before the pandemic, these school supplies were needed more than ever.
For Pastor Myron Dalton and Midway Baptist Church, they know and believe that these ministries are not only opportunities to shine the light and love of Christ—but these are opportunities to share the most-needed hope, and that is the Good News of Jesus Christ.
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