By Portia Williams
March 26, 2014
WHEELERSBURG - The pastor and members of Wheelersburg Baptist Church, located 11725 Gallia Pike Road, are excited about the opportunity to serve the community in a greater capacity. The church has added the Wheelersburg Community Center to its ministries.
WBC will host an open house of the WBC Community Center, formerly Porter Township Senior Center, on Saturday, March 29, from 8 to 11 a.m. with a community pancake breakfast. Brad Brandt, pastor of WBC, said Denise Hurley and the assistant pastor Matt Wilson are heading up the church’s new community center ministry.
“I’m the pastor of the church, but my role is to equip our people to do ministries, so Denise Hurley, and Pastor Matt Wilson have developed a team of people that are really doing the Community Center. I am sort of the voice for this right now, but they are the ones who are doing all of the work,” he said.
He said the church was approached by Porter Township Trustees to consider purchasing the community center facility.
“I believe that it was last summer when the Porter Township Trustees approached us, and said they were interested in selling this center, and that led us on a journey of thinking about how we might use this facility. We already owned the parking space next to it, so it was natural in that sense,” he said.
He said WBC wants to illustrate their love and concern for the community.
“We began to get excited about the potential of developing a community center ministry to show the community how much we care about it with a view towards sharing why we care, which is the good news of Jesus Christ,” he said.
Next, they formulated teams in the church to begin to think about ways to utilize the facility.
“Under the leadership and direction of our director, Denise Hurley, and our assistant pastor Matt Wilson, the two of them have led our church in a process of thinking about needs that we see in the community. They have developed ideas such as literacy programs, after school programs, programs for senior citizens in the community, those kinds of things have been discussed,” he said.
He said the community open house and pancake breakfast will be an opportunity for members of the community to give their input on uses for the center.
“One of the things that we’re going to do with the open house is to survey the community and ask what they consider to be some of the most pressing needs that our community has that we as a church could meet. We have some thought, on the survey we have a list of 10 potential things,” he said.
He said the center is presently being used for meeting space for non-profit organizations, and families.
“We are currently renting out space for organizations and families that just need meeting space for organizational meetings. We have met with the Porter Township Trustees to ask what consider to be some of the biggest challenges that our community is facing that we as a church could help with the provision of space, and labor. One of the other needs that was discussed is grandparents that are raising their grandchildren,” he said.
Other possible uses for the community center include providing bible classes for married couples, and parenting for young adults.
“We already as a church provide a biblical counseling training program for helping people deal with problems in their lives, and we think that will fit in real well with the community center,” he said.
He said the new community center has brought focus to their reason for existence.
“Anytime a church asks, ‘Why are we here? Why has the Lord Jesus placed us here? What has he entrusted to us, and how can we use that for His honor for the world in which we live? The by-product is that it brings us together, and we begin to focus on the same things,” he said.
Portia Williams can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.