Small but mighty: How one church gives back to community

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Dellwood Baptist Church in Greenwood may be small in number, but it is mighty in giving back to its community, raising more than $10,000 for the local volunteer fire department over the past few years.

Five years ago, Pastor Gary Gable was asked to “fill in” at Dellwood Baptist Church while the congregation was looking for a new pastor. Soon after, he was called as the permanent pastor and has been leading the church ever since.

Dellwood Baptist Church“We intend to let the community know that Dellwood Baptist Church cares and we love them,” said Pastor Gable.

If the community outreach “opens a door for someone to walk in and attend church, that’s an added benefit and we welcome that,” he said.

In September 2017, the church, a part of Chipola Baptist Association, held a fundraiser for the volunteer fire department. The free event included a hot dog dinner, gospel sing and cake auction. The love offering raised $2,700 for the fire department. The event was repeated in 2018, raising $5,800 for the fire department.

The event was not held in 2019 due to recovery efforts from 2018’s Hurricane Michael, and in 2020, COVID prevented the event from taking place. Even as the community dealt with a natural disaster and pandemic, the church was not deterred and donated $2,100 to the local fire department during those years.

As it has ministered to its community, the church has grown, with a 300% increase in attendance over the past five years and an average Sunday worship attendance of about 50 people. Nine individuals have made professions of faith, and 24 have joined the church.

Dellwood Baptist ChurchIn 2021, the church started a backpack and school supplies ministry. Inside each backpack, in addition to school supplies, were an evangelistic tract and a handwritten note letting children from the community know that Jesus loves them and that church members were praying for them to have a safe and good school year. In less than one hour, the church gave away 120 backpacks, plus bagged lunches. This month, the church plans to give out 200 backpacks.

Dellwood Baptist Church continues to support the community throughout the year providing food to those in need, making visits to hospitals and nursing homes, holding prayer walks at schools, helping with disaster relief and many other ways.

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