Home | Stories of How BGAV Churches Are Responding to COVID-19 in Their Communities

Stories of How BGAV Churches Are Responding to COVID-19 in Their Communities

BGAV churches and groups all across the Commonwealth and beyond are being the Church outside their traditional walls during this time of isolation—responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are some of the stories we’ve received so far. To share what your church is doing, please complete this brief form to send it to us. Your story can be an inspiration and encouragement to others!

 

Cool stories! So I had already filled this out the other day, but since then the grant for $1000 to be used for food has been approved and I just wanted to share a bit about how some of the house churches are using the funds we already have, and how they intend to use some of these additional funds!

 

  1. They are purchasing food stuffs and toiletries for some young immigrant families with babies
  2. They are purchasing groceries for some individuals who are directly effected by this crisis (loss of jobs etc)
  3. The one food pantry (for those in need) was low and they are filling it up!
  4. One community has an unusual number of people who were laid off recently, that community is providing small meals to send out to the individuals day by day (someone is driving the food to them)

I keep getting more reports of how the house churches are springing to action! What an incredible time when the church is able to rise up and bless people and show the love of Jesus, the hands of Jesus, and the feet of Jesus in action! The beautiful thing is that these actions have also opened doors for prayers and words of encouragement and the direct sharing of the gospel in certain circumstances!

I had a fearful friend who warned me to “leave the city due to this crisis, save yourself!” But why would we leave all those who we love so much and are lost and hurting? We are here because Jesus is at work in this place and He has called us to serve and love those around us! This is exactly where we need to be! Praise the Lord!

 

Jeremy Chambers
Arise RVA Church
Richmond, VA

 

For Reaching the Elderly at Home: The elderly are in great need to be encouraged having to stay at home – some alone. Many of their friends and family are no longer alive. So please give them a call to let them know you love them and if they need groceries you can drop them a bag or two on their front door step – remember to keep your distance. You can also pray together when you call and pray again again when you drop their groceries on the front door step. No Prayer – No Power. Little Prayer – Little Power. Much Prayer – Much Power. Prayer does not prepare us for the greater works; Prayer is the greater works! Just as Jesus said, ” If you love Me, you will love one another just as I love you.” Instead of Corona Virus chaos let the Peace of Christ be with you always.

Chris Hummel

 

We are preparing weekend backpacks for students each week. Attached is a photo of the food we purchased from the Healthy Harvest Food Bank in Warsaw. Our phone is ringing with requests for food, referrals from social services and other churches are referring folks who need help, many of them for the first time ever. We will be going back for more food weekly as well as continuing with our regular monthly food pantry that increased by about 20 families last week. Thank you for helping us serve in our community.

Jennifer English
Bethany Baptist Church
Callao, VA

 

The Franklin County Baptist Disaster Response Team emptied its disaster response trailer of all the usable supplies it contained and donated it to the Carillion Clinic (Roanoke Memorial and Franklin Memorial Hospitals). The donated items included M-95 and surgical masks, hazmat suits, and other items needed to help fight the COVID-19 virus.

Doris Morgan
Franklin County Baptist Disaster Response Team

 

 

Recently, and very providentially, we signed on with a phone tree service called “Call-Em-All.” They are reasonably priced and very user friendly. I have been using it every night to give a 1 1/2 minute message of encouragement to my people. Many have expressed their gratitude for it and have asked that we add numbers of friends and relatives to our phone tree. We are planning a drive-in Easter service in our parking lot, having purchased an FM box so people can pick up the service on their radios. The service will be outside, in the parking lot as well, so it will be weather- dependent. If all goes well, we will continue to have drive-in services any Sunday the weather is good. We have purchased the disposable, all in one communion cups and will be distributing them in Ziploc bags. We are preparing dinner meals regularly to take to our shut-ins.

Susan Spangenberg
Pocahontas Bassett Baptist Church
Bassett, VA

 

We met together on March 15, attempting to practice social distancing. Later that day, our deacons determined that we would be closed for the next two Sundays. Deacon teams would be mobilized to contact members of the congregation and friends to assess needs we might meet during this time. We attempted our first online Sunday worship on March 22 using the church’s Facebook page. There were more hits on the page than the normal worship attendance. We will be doing a different format online this Sunday for worship. This week, our deacons decided that we would not meet at the church until after Easter due to the expanding coronavirus, and we will continue online worship through Easter.

David Roberts
Sycamore Baptist Church
Franklin, VA

 

We are seeing wonderful ministry opportunities opening up all around us right now! Here are a few highlights to encourage other churches: (1) House churches (or small groups) are rising to this occasion, taking food to neighbors, driving out to get supplies for those “at risk,” some are creating means of babysitting the children of those who need to keep working during this time (but their children are out of school) (2) many are participating in food programs for children (3) work amongst homeless people is active and there have been reports of many homeless people who are just so grateful for a meal and someone to talk to (even while maintaining appropriate social distancing) (4) the work among former inmates is amazing right now, people are providing food and supplies to keep them sustained (5) work among internationals and immigrants is flourishing as many are getting on calls with each other and checking in (6) THE PRAYER OPPORTUNITIES ARE THE MOST AMAZING WE HAVE EVER SEEN! Many atheists and agnostics and skeptics are receiving prayer (when they normally would never have been receptive to pray before this crisis) (7) People are setting up prayer booths in their neighborhoods or making prayer calls available to their friends and neighbors (even an email for people to send in prayer requests) (8) One couple visited 90 houses in their neighborhood, these are people they have been ministering to for over 10 years, but now the receptivity has been overwhelmingly beautiful (9) People are digging into the scriptures afresh (especially the Psalms) and reaching out to one another and encouraging each other with the word … via many Zoom/vsee/FaceTime/marco polo sorts of calls (10) others are sharing how they are learning to “be still and know” that He is God (Ps. 46: 10) and there is a movement toward prayer and silence before the Lord as a refreshing opportunity in these times of difficulty. The list could go on! Just so many amazing things are happening right now.

Jeremy Chambers
Arise RVA Church
Richmond, VA

 

This past Sunday we began having a DRIVE-IN Worship Service. We positioned a small trailer ( approx 7’x16′) in front of our Sanctuary, added a podium, Communion table, microphones, and speakers. Our ushers helped vehicles park facing the stage. We handed out bulletins with hymn inserts (to avoid hymnal handling), had prayers, sang hymns, and proclaimed the Gospel. We concluded the service singing together “The Solid Rock.”

Gene Cumbia
Glebe Landing Baptist Church
Laneview, VA

 

Our school district was scheduled to be out on Spring Break this week (3/23-3/27) prior to the Governor’s initial school closure order. Because of this scheduled Spring Break, our schools were not able to continue providing meals for our county students. We decided to try and organize a few churches to pool resources and manpower to make sure that any school child who needed a lunch this week could get one. With the help of the BGAV, Buckingham Baptist Church, Calvary Baptist Church, and Mt. Zion Baptist Church, we are able to distribute over 300 lunches this week to our community. We are now thinking about immediate needs regarding students and Seniors who will continue to be affected by the Governor’s cancellation of the rest of the school year.

Geoffrey Bruschi
Arvon Baptist Church
Arvonia, VA

 

Twenty-five percent of our church family has suffered either loss of their income completely or partial decrease in income. We spent the first week grabbing grocery orders and delivering them, filled the fuel tanks of a few family vehicles, etc. One family has five little kids. I delivered them 40 lbs of deer meat, groceries and dropped of some church t-shirts and hats for the kids. The mom sent us a few pics and told us that the kids were overjoyed and excited that “Pastor Dan brought us a deer!!” Thank you BGAV for helping us make this continue to happen.

Dan Magan
The Well Church of Nelson
Lovingston, VA

 

Our staff, deacons, and homebound committee are making phone calls to those who are homebound, as well as those who live alone or even older couples that are staying home. We did a brief time of worship on Facebook Live and are looking at doing a “drive in worship” using a low band FM transmitter. Each of our staff members is writing a devotional which is sent out via email and snail mail to homebound members. As part of the Monday devotional, we attach the church prayer list. Using “Call em all” we communicate prayer requests and announcements about worship and other ways we can be of ministry during this time.

Joey McNeill
Fort Trial Baptist Church
Stanleytown, VA

 

We are reaching out to our flock and our community through the following means:

  • Our website
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • OneCall

We are providing daily devotionals through OneCall to our membership. We’re using Facebook to provide daily devotionals and encouragement through Bible-based COVID-19 devotionals as a means to help people know that God is in control though our world may appear to be out of control at this time.

On our website and through YouTube we’re streaming our worship services. On the website people can find sermons, Bible studies, as well as other information.

Our deacons are calling the members they have on their deacon care lists to make certain we can meet the needs of our members and their families. We are exploring avenues to continue to provide online discipleship classes or studies; youth leaders are speaking to their students and finding out what fears or concerns they may have, so that we can deal with them.

We are providing coaching as a means for people to think through their “next steps” at this time. Counseling is also available.

Don Zampogna
Green Valley Baptist Church
Lebanon, VA

 

For our Sunday morning worship, we are doing live services on Facebook and YouTube. We are also transmitting it on the radio for our local members who don’t have access to the Internet. Many can access it from their homes but can also park in our church parking lot to have access to the transmitter to hear our service.
Most of our small groups now have Facebook pages to stay connected and share their week’s Bible study/lesson. We are using Zoom to have discussion time. 
Yesterday we created an interactive Prayer Fence outside our church for the community to write prayers on ribbons and tie on the fence.

Charles Cook
Cook Memorial Baptist Church
Pineville, WV

 

 

 

 


Ways You Can Respond and/or Request Help

Complete any or all of the forms below as indicated, and we will respond as is appropriate.

My church would like to apply for a BGAV grant of up to $1,000 to help our community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apply now.


I have a story to share about how we are responding in our church/community to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Share a story.


I would like to add my name/my church to the list of state volunteers and/or sites willing and able to respond to COVID-19-related needs in my community.

Add my name.

I would like to request prayer and/or a personal contact from a chaplain.

Submit a contact request.