Making a change within the community is the mission of Community Changers, a youth mission team sponsored by Grace Baptist Church. With the support and direction of adult leadership, the group wants to make a positive impact within their own community.
It all began a couple of years ago when God laid a plan upon the hearts of several members of Grace Baptist Church. Church youth leader Michelle Thompson said, “Our youth had always gone out of state to do mission work, but God laid it upon our hearts to do mission work locally and to make a change in our community.”
This year’s 35-plus members have six mission teams made up of five or more youth per team. The age of team members ranges from sixth graders through college age.
The mission teams focus on needs that those needing help can no longer meet either financially or physically. Often times, widowers are the people who need help, as they are no longer able to do the work needed to keep up their home.
Community Changers have previously completed projects such as painting both the inside and outside of a house, building a wheelchair ramp, yard work, and even a project at Susan Moore Elementary School.
According to Thompson, she is very thankful that the idea has been greatly supported, and there has been a lot of positive impact from the group. The youth are responsible for completing the work assignments, but they do have the adult leaders who choose the job based on their trade and have knowledge of the task at hand. The adults are primarily the brains of the team, who in turn, teach the youth how to do the job.
Thompson said, “God has always provided projects that need completed, the supplies, as well as the youth and adults to get the job done.” She wants people to know that this mission group is open for participation from all churches. When a project is being completed, pastors from different churches do a worship service for the group, and various churches also provide the team a meal.
For anyone wanting to become a team member, Community Changers asks for a $125 fee initially. This money is used to help defray the costs of the projects. In wrapping up, Thompson said, “I encourage anyone who is interested to become a member of Community Changers as they try and fulfill their mission. It may be being part of a team, cooking, or simply praying for God to send us to where we need to be.”
Grace Baptist is located on Ala 75 between the Susan Moore and Snead communities. Curtis Hawkins is pastor. Jeremy Thompson is youth pastor.