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BGAV Churches Work Together to Hold Sports Clinic

Mineral Baptist Church Archery invited; 3 kids saved

With a tobacco field in the background, participants retrieve their arrows.
With a tobacco field in the background, participants retrieve their arrows.

Posted: 5/22/15 at 8:15am. Story and photos by Nathan White

On a warm and humid May Saturday, 35 kids and volunteers came together at Childrey Baptist Church in the Nathalie area of Halifax County for a one-day sports clinic.

Three other Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) and Dan River Baptist Association churches worked alongside Childrey to plan and coordinate the clinic, including Clover Bottom, Hunting Creek and Mulberry.

Tony Brooks, BGAV field strategist for the southside region, helped setup a week-long sports clinic at Childrey Baptist Church last year. From that experience, Rev. Jerry Stanfield, pastor of Childrey, had the idea to produce a one-day event with the three nearby congregations.

A camper hits a softball out into the field.
A camper hits a softball out into the field.

“I want to show that regional cooperation among churches can work,” he said. “We can do more together than alone.”

Event planners decided to hold the clinic at Childrey as they had a basketball gym and over 50 acres of land.

Participants rotated among four sports including softball, soccer, basketball and archery. Stanfield had watched a video of Mineral Baptist Church’s archery program at the 2013 BGAV annual meeting and decided to invite them to participate.

“It is always amazing to see how children listen when something grabs their attention,” wrote Jeremy Debaets, ministry coordinator of Mineral Baptist Church Archery, in a blog post.

With some coaching, a camper takes aim of the target.
With some coaching, a camper takes aim of the target.

Debaets and two other volunteers moved among the children, helping them line up their shots. “I can’t believe how good this group is,” he said.

In addition to providing lots of water and snacks, volunteers served the kids lunch where Rev. David Hanks of Mulberry Baptist Church gave a short gospel presentation.

Afterwards, three kids indicated that they wanted to accept Christ as their personal savior! Each went off with a pastor to talk more and pray. “That was awesome,” said Stanfield.

At the end of the day, each child received gifts including a bracelet and a Bible. Ministry coordinators hope to hold another clinic next year.

Stanfield, while reflecting on the day, said, “Our folks are happy to see the church be mobile, going out and doing things, instead of sitting in the pew all of the time.”

Does your church have a #KingdomStory to tell? We’d love to help! Contact Nathan White, Chief Marketing Officer for the BGAV.

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