Editor’s note: See story about Second Mile Church and Kenwood Baptist Church HERE.
By Rick Stevens
Cal Hampton returned to his hometown with a heart to make a difference in ministry.
He genuinely cares about those that have not come to faith in Christ. The church he started has been committed from day one to sharing the gospel with those outside the doors of the church. 2nd Mile Church has provided egg hunts, school involvement, servanthood evangelism projects and evangelistic special events.
For that reason, I convinced Cal that 2nd Mile would be a great “adoptive” parent church for the struggling Kenwood Baptist Church. We looked at the demographics and saw the huge numbers of people all around the church.
“Kenwood” refers to a neighborhood in Clarksville with a set of schools Kenwood Elementary, Middle and High schools at the center. The Kenwood church is right across the street and down a little. Cal and campus pastor Derek Simonis are committed to impacting this community. One of the very first things they did was a backpack giveaway for the back-to-school season. This led to a single mom trusting Christ in the first of the outreach focused events.
Cal and Derek are seeing a good response from the newly remodeled church and property. It is clear in the neighborhood that there is a new commitment to reach out and serve this area. When we look at the makeup of the area, it is young and diverse. Kenwood is gradually looking more like the makeup of the community. Derek’s military background and his love for the Lord are making a difference as he gets to know the community and leads this additional campus of 2nd Mile.
The Kenwood and 2nd Mile adoption is not the first one in our association and we pray it will not be the last. It serves as an encouragement to other churches to see the way that partnership can truly make a difference in a largely unchurched community. By allowing a healthy church to pour into a struggling church, we have seen God’s purposes lived out in our association.
Every adoption has unique characteristics, but they provide encouragement that our God is a resourceful God. We just have to be willing to be honest about our condition and seek His resourceful plans. B&R — Stevens is director of missions for Cumberland Baptist Association, based in Clarksville.