Rogersville church

Faith in Action: Rogersville church shines bright as a resource for community members

CHELSEY BISHOP • SEP 21, 2016 AT 5:13 PM

In the heart of downtown, the members of First Baptist Church in Rogersville encourage each other through Bible study and worship. Then, they serve their community exalting Christ’s love throughout their daily lives.

“This is how we impact our community,” said the church pastor, Dr. Andy Willis, whose main focus is to make Rogersville a better place to live and raise families. “We do that through worship and equipping believers. We encourage one another and build one another up within the church, then we go out into the community and serve by sharing the love of Christ. That’s why we’re here.”

The church’s love for those who need Christ spans over into not only other states, but also other countries. Internationally, they partner with other organizations in order to donate money and goods and send some of their own to physically serve where needed to orphanages in Haiti. Willis said the church is planning an upcoming mission trip to Haiti some time next year.

Nationally, the church is serving 25 church planters in Cincinnati, Ohio. FBC supports these church planters by covering them in prayer, providing the needs they have, sending people to serve, and donating money in order for them to be able to continue their work.

“We travel in order to serve missionaries anyway we can,” he said. “While our heart is mainly locally here, it’s also nationally and internationally that we want to serve. But, our heart’s desire is truly for Hawkins County. I tell our folks all the time, the light that shines the farthest shines the brightest at home. So, that’s what we want to do. We want to minister here first, then we go out.”

FBC is actively making Rogersville a better place to live through partnerships with various organizations. Regularly, volunteers from FBC are at Shepherd’s Center, which is a community-based center that provides basic necessities, as well as at the Hawkins County Pregnancy Help Center where Willis serves on the board of directors.

The church also sees the needs of those who struggle with addiction, and wants to help them rehabilitate.

“The drug epidemic is killing our community and we want to be a part of the solution by helping people overcome their addictions,” he said. “We believe that rehabilitation is the answer, not prison. Sometimes it’s inevitable and they have to go to prison, but we don’t think that’s always the best option. We want to help provide a support system that people maybe didn’t have previously. We take them to rehab centers, to court, and whatever else they need.We hear heartbreaking stories as we get into people’s lives to help them.”

The children of the community is where the church focuses its attention most, though. Willis said he believes that if they’re going to reach the community, then they’re going to do it through the children and youth. Cheryl Boes, a retired elementary school teacher, is the Children’s Ministry Director at FBC. Boes said she’s growing the ministry with new curriculum and updates to their part of the church.

“It’s important that we’re reaching out to the little ones,” she said. “I feel like it is my calling. I taught school for 33 years. After I retired, I found that I need these kids and I hope they need me.”

FBC in Rogersville holds worship services on Sundays at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., then on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Sunday School begins at 9:45 a.m. at 119 West Washington Street in Rogersville. For more information, call 423-272-2151 or visist the church website.

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