Weaver Creek officially launches Get Involved Ministries outreach
by Michele Longworth
Dec 12, 2012 | 771 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This multipurpose building located on the property where the former Upper Salem Baptist Church sat, has been constructed to function as the location for Weaver Creek's Get Involved Ministry outreach program and will house clothing, furniture and the food pantry.  The clothing, furniture and food will be available for anyone in need, and church officials say it will all be available to people free of charge.  The building is about 28 x 30 feet and will have a basement.  Prior to the Upper Salem fire, the building served as the church's fellowship hall.
— Planet photo by Michele Longworth
This multipurpose building located on the property where the former Upper Salem Baptist Church sat, has been constructed to function as the location for Weaver Creek's Get Involved Ministry outreach program and will house clothing, furniture and the food pantry. The clothing, furniture and food will be available for anyone in need, and church officials say it will all be available to people free of charge. The building is about 28 x 30 feet and will have a basement. Prior to the Upper Salem fire, the building served as the church's fellowship hall. — Planet photo by Michele Longworth
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Several weeks ago the marquee in front of Weaver Creek Baptist Church read: "It's not the message on the sign that matters. It is the one we give to others that does." That is exactly what the church is trying to do with its Get Involved Ministries (GIM) outreach program.

The congregation has launched GIM, which is aimed at reaching out to those individuals and families in the community who need help the most.

Pastor Shawn Vandergriff explained how the Lord had burdened his heart in 2009 with the desire to start GIM, which began with him visiting struggling churches that were on the brink of closing. He went to four different churches to help them before he ended up at Weaver Creek Baptist Church and became the pastor.

Vandergriff said helping people and the community is something Weaver Creek has always been done, but the church has just modified things.

Pastor Paul McCormick joined GIM in 2011. when he became the interim pastor at Upper Salem Baptist Church. Earlier this year, on May 12, Upper Salem Church suffered a fire, and the congregation merged with the Weaver Creek Church. With that decision to merge church bodies, McCormick was able to focus more of his time on GIM outreach.

Officially, GIM was launched when the church helped the Benton family a few months ago. Vandergriff says he and church members' main mission is to love others, like Christ loves others and to emphasize to them that: "God loves you."

Since helping the Benton family, the GIM ministry has been able to help well over 30 families with a variety of things from food and supplies to clothing.

When there is a person or family that is in need of help, Vandergriff explains that he and McCormick are both counselors and will meet with the person or persons in need, talk with them and pray and find out how the church can meet their needs. Through the crises counseling, they are able to find out exactly how the church can assist, whether a person needs a job or help with housing.

The church has been able to provide clothing, shoes, furniture and appliances through its GIM ministry. All of which is given to those in need at no charge.

Another aspect to the ministry is its food pantry, which McCormick, says does not have set hours. "It's available 24/7," he said, going on to say individuals may contact him or Vandergriff if they are in need of food items.

McCormick said the church has been helping many people and in turn, there have been many people in the community who have made tons of donations to the church's ministry. Those donations have ranged from items of clothing, shoes and furniture to monetary donations.

The church was approached by area restaurant Huddle House about helping the GIM outreach. Vandergriff explained on the third Monday of the month from 5-8 p.m., a portion of the proceeds during that time would be going to GIM. That will be added revenue the church will be able to utilize for its outreach.

Both McCormick and Vandergriff observe that many people who come to Weaver Creek for assistance have been struggling with the power prices and electric bills. Vandegriff points out with bills ranging from $500 to $1000, it puts a strain on any one church to try and help.

Vandergriff said another problem the church continues to see is homelessness. When Weaver Creek held a revival at Washington Park Sept. 17-19, at that time he said there was one family that was homeless and two individuals that were sleeping around the gazebo.

He said in the past few months there have been four families and two individuals that he is aware of that have been homeless.

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