Last February, Grace Community Church began a mission with an outward focus.
Almost a year after the congregation formed at the Plains District Community Center in Timberville, the church has launched a new initiative that demonstrates the commitment of its body of believers to the mission.
The small church, which currently has about 35 attending members, has started a so-called “recycling ministry.”
With nickels and dimes collected through donated recyclables, the congregation hopes to support the education of church leaders around the world.
The church has purchased master copies of DVDs that provide a full year of seminary education in five major languages: English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic.
The goal is to duplicate those copies and send them to areas around the world where leaders would be otherwise unable to pursue such an education.
“It’s amazing what aluminum is going to do,” said Pastor Zach Pennington recently, looking at a container full of empty soda cans.
The benefits of the ministry are three-fold for church members, Pennington said: providing education, acting as good stewards of the environment and ministering to those who help.
The church is affiliated with several missionaries serving in countries around the world, including El Salvador, Brazil and Nigeria, Pennington said.
He hopes those missionaries will be able to set up training centers to help the DVDs reach the maximum amount of people.
The church is no stranger to the idea of reaching those outside its circle.
In fact, that’s how GCC has increased its membership so far.
Members reach out to people in need — those facing illness, for example — and “earn the right to minister to them,” as Pennington put it.
“That’s where [the church’s] growth has come from,” he said, adding that the church prides itself on attracting new converts, as opposed to pulling members of other churches away from those congregations.
GCC also runs a clothes closet operating out of the Timberville community center every Thursday and hosts a monthly meal open to the public.
“We’ve had people come take [food] and we never see them again,” Pennington said. “But some come back.”
Glen Adams said the church has a ministerial vision similar to he and his wife, Melissa’s. The Timberville couple has operated a trailer-based mobile clothes bank since 2006.
“[The new ministry] fits with the outreach,” Glen Adams said. “I see it as one more spoke in the wheel.”
He added that he envisions the young church as a hub for local, national and international ministries alike.
For more information on the church and the budding ministry, visit discovergracecc.org or call 478-2378.
Contact Candace Sipos at 574-6275 or firstname.lastname@example.org