“The church can only call itself a Christian entity if it is also on mission,” stated Dan Bagby in the Summer 2016 Explorer. Giant steps have been taken to expand our mission partnership with Westover Baptist Church (WBC) with the support of our Endowment Fund and the leadership of the Board of Missions of RRCB. Located in the Southside of Richmond for many years, the WBC membership has dwindled to about fifty regular, mainly older, persons. However, they are very faithful, eager individuals who want their church to be able to serve the many younger families who are moving into the area.
Get on the Bus Tour on May 1 – Fifty members of River Road Church gathered for lunch and for a visit to WBC. The warmth of the membership, their commitment to their church, and their desire for Westover to have a more meaningful impact on the Westover Hills community was overwhelming. We toured and listened to their needs and dreams for Westover to be more able to serve their community. For some from RRCB, this was not their first connection to WBC. Emily King, Carl Collier, Libby Geiger, and others, all had stories to share from their past.
Much has happened since We Got on the Bus, Much is being Planned
Food Pantry Volunteers in May – Four of our congregation assisted with the food pantry on May 12, and three others went on May 26. Good relationships and trust were built between RRCB and WBC folks that will serve us well as the pantry begins to expand the church’s ministry. For now it seems that the Westover members can handle the pantry distribution, though donations are welcome. Our contributions of food and stuffed animals for children of families at the pantry have been generous. The stuffed animals given brought smiles to many faces. THANK YOU FOR THAT!
Cleaning and Organizing Nursery on June 1 – Two from River Road joined in cleaning out and organizing the Westover nursery area. Two families connected with the church are expecting babies this summer! That is especially exciting for a congregation of mostly older people. Someone from RRCB has even donated a crib. Wendy Graves’ 4th and 5th grade Sunday School Class at RRCB made a beautiful wall hanging of Noah’s Ark for Westover’s children’s area.
Mission Tour for Youth & Adults, July 3-9 – Chester Phelps will lead and the group will focus their ministry on Westover Baptist. The youth will spend their mornings assisting with the Westover Vacation Bible School (July 5-8). They will then join with the adults for the afternoon painting and construction projects at the church. A youth from WBC is joining the group for the week.
Additional youth from River Road will also be going to Westover on Tuesday – Friday mornings to assist with Bible School.
How Can You Help?
Non-perishable Food – Please donate standard-sized canned goods and jars of peanut butter. Donations may be placed in green food carts, marked for WBC. These goods are in addition to our Food Share collections for the three Baptist Centers.
Small Stuffed Animals – Families who go to the food pantry are allowed to select one for their children. This ministry has brought some beautiful smiles to the faces of the parents and the children. Donations from RRCB can be left on the missions tables. Please put the stuffed animals in a bag marked for WBC.
July 4 Celebration – WBC has sponsored a community wide celebration on July 4 for their neighborhood for several years. Events begin about 6:00, with various games for children and adults. There will be hotdogs, with all of the complements, and watermelon. River Road has committed to providing the hot dogs and buns, as well as some assistants.
- Grillers to assist with the hot dogs.
- Game assistants to work with Board of Missions leaders and youth on tour.
August 2, National Night Out – Another afternoon and evening of food and games at Westover. Mark your calendar and stay tuned for volunteer needs.
Future Plans, Hopes, & Desires for Our Partnership with WBC
Two or three River Road families willing to commit to becoming a part of Westover for a year. Families willing to invest fully at Westover — attending Sunday School, Sunday worship, and Wednesday night activities. This could provide a great boost of energy to the church. It would serve as a magnet for other families in the area to join Westover. It could also be a meaning experience for those families.
A Volunteer Tutoring Program Organizer – probably in the afternoon after school
Music Program/Choir Director – This program could bring in their parents and open the strong possibility of attracting new members for Westover.
The above volunteer opportunities, hopes and dreams are under the leadership of the Board of Missions of RRCB. If you want to be involved with these or other ministries at Westover Baptist Church, please contact Bob Shoemake firstname.lastname@example.org.