This summer, we have had the pleasure of partnering with several youth groups from our community and outside the greater Birmingham area. Three of these groups, Eden Westside Church from Pell City, AL, FUMC Scottsboro from Scottsboro, AL, and Spirit of Joy from Weddington, NC, worked on Mr. Gordon’s and Mrs. Barkley’s homes while learning about God’s true vision for His Church.
With the help of our construction team, the summer groups were able to lend a hand in finishing Mrs. Barkley’s deck and completing the siding, painting, and yard work on Mr. Gordon’s home. Although we aim towards getting the job done, our primary goal is to give all an opportunity to learn and contribute. Each group left Birmingham with a deeper understanding of selfless service and a sense of pride, knowing that their hard work was beneficial and meant so much to these homeowners.
Other groups spent some time at our campus sorting donations (household items, water bottles, PPE, etc.) from our corporate partners to get us ready for the various initiatives we have planned for the rest of the year. A couple of groups served at Rock City School, cleaning the school from top to bottom to be ready to welcome students into its halls in August, after being empty for over a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
When welcoming groups to serve with us, both from our community and afar, we want to connect them with our local church partners to have their needs fulfilled. Many groups have also met with our partner, Bethel Baptist Church, joining their summer camp for lunch and listening to Pastor Wilder speak about the importance of the Collegeville area, the Church, and what African Americans had to endure during the Civil Rights Movement. Through this, we hope that the groups are a blessing to our partners and our community and gain a deeper understanding of what it means to serve others. We also hope that they learn what Biblical Reconciliation looks like in a city once named “The Most Segregated City in the World” and how important it is to work for unity within the Church.