First Baptist Church of Pelham helping locals find employment

With the state and national unemployment numbers on the rise, First Baptist Church of Pelham has taken notice and is helping local residents find employment through its Christian Jobs Concern Ministry.

Joe Lacey and Don Robertson helped develop the program, which began in October 2009, and it is aimed at matching potential employees with local employers, while also ministering to meet each person’s spiritual needs.

In the seven months since the program was created, 85 people have applied for employment help, with approximately 24 of those finding work.

Ada Pritchett, along with volunteers Jansen Richardson, Wallace Lee and Martin Benson, meet with prospective employees each Monday at the church from 9 a.m.-noon, and they help match up the applicants with local employers.

“We make contact with local employers, and we try and establish relationships with those employers so that when they have positions to fill, they come to us,” Pritchett said.

Volunteers have also set up an e-mail list where they can e-mail out any job postings or job fairs in the area.

In addition to matching prospective employees with employers, the program also acts as a ministry to people suffering during these tough economic times.

“When we started this, our No. 1 goal was to be a ministry support for people out there looking for jobs,” Pritchett said. “We talk with each person about their job needs and their spiritual needs because that’s a big part of it too.”

And while many people become depressed or discouraged after losing their job or failing to find a job they are looking for, Pritchett said despite unemployment numbers and media reports, there are jobs out there.

“I have been very surprised because there are jobs out there,” Pritchett said. “They may not be the jobs a person has had in the past, but people have to step out of their comfort zone of what they’ve always done, and that’s hard.”

Some of the jobs the ministry has been able to set up for applicants include positions at Regions Bank, the Social Security Office in Birmingham and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Anyone interested in seeking employment through the ministry, or any business seeking employees can contact First Baptist Church in Pelham by e-mail at jobsearch@fbcpelham.org or by calling 664-0237.