One Day, One Church, Big Difference

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PENSACOLA – What difference can one church and one day make?

That’s a question Hillcrest Baptist Church in Pensacola has asked and answered with its annual Serve Our City event.

On Saturday, March 26, nearly 300 men, women and children spread out in groups throughout Pensacola to participate in 25 service projects, including painting walls, building fences, assembling shelves, pressure-washing sidewalks, spreading mulch, planting shrubs, sorting food, grilling hot dogs, and delivering Easter baskets.

Hillcrest, a missions-oriented church, works with many community partners regularly. Organizations assisted during Serve Our City include: Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, Safe Harbor Pregnancy Medical Center, Health & Hope Clinic, Waterfront Rescue Mission, six local schools and several others.

Volunteers started the day at Hillcrest to pray for the community, the church, and the conversations that would take place. Senior Pastor Jim Locke spoke about how Jesus came not to be served, but to serve, and that the mission of the church is to follow His example.

Following the prayer and encouragement, each group set out for its specific project.

“It was a day filled with great conversations, smiles, and encouragement flowing to the community and back to the church members involved,” said Jim Carmack, Hillcrest’s community development director.

Focused on this year’s Serve Our City scriptural theme of Philippians 2:3-4, Carmack said, “We pray that’s exactly what we did, count others more significant than ourselves, and we can’t wait to do it again next year.”

Serve Our City started as a women’s ministry project about 15 years ago, and in an effort to do more and reach more people, it has been a churchwide event since 2017.

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