The Apostle Paul shared this word of gratitude related to his ministry in Ephesus – “For a great and effective door has opened to me …” (I Corinthians 16:9a). This is exactly how the Lord is blessing the work of our Tennessee Baptist churches in and around BlueOval City. Doors for ministry opportunity are swinging wide open all around us.
In recent days, there have been several wonderful stories unfolding of God-sized opportunities related to this statewide ministry objective. Our churches are using old-fashioned southern hospitality and creativity in reaching out to the nearly 3,000 employees who are living in the area as they work to build the nation’s largest automobile manufacturing plant in the small town of Stanton in south Haywood County.
Charleston Baptist Church in Stanton is located seven miles from the BlueOval site. Pastor Mike Melton recently led members of his congregation to visit workers living in a nearby RV park sharing gifts and an invitation to attend Easter services at the church.
The owner of the park has given permission to make these visits and encouraged the pastor to begin a Bible study for outreach to the community. Several area churches have experienced new families from the BlueOval workforce visiting their churches and some have become members.
Pastors Ben Cowell (Brownsville Baptist Church) and Mike Young (Zion Baptist Church, Brownsville) recently attended a site visit inside the BlueOval plant, along with TBMB staff members, in preparation for an exciting ministry opportunity.
The BlueOval workers recently had a celebration for one million man hours of workplace operation and they reached out to our churches to host a luncheon for 1,100 employees.
The BlueOval coalition of churches, along with our TBMB Disaster Relief feeding units, provided the meal and the man-power for this huge event on April 14. Bibles and church information contact cards were provided to the workers who attended.
Please continue to pray as we negotiate with landowners related to possible locations for new churches to be established in the surrounding area. God is opening great and effective doors for our churches. He also is working to strengthen and encourage the existing churches in the area.
God is giving our churches a clear and compelling vision for the opportunity of expanding His Kingdom in the season ahead. We have a lot to be grateful for! B&R