First Baptist Church of Pelham tries something new

The First Baptist Church of Pelham tried a new twist on their annual church-wide mission trip, choosing to stay and work in Shelby County this year. (Contributed)

The First Baptist Church of Pelham tried a new twist on their annual church-wide mission trip, choosing to stay and work in Shelby County this year. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—Usually mission trips involve travel away from home, but this year the First Baptist Church of Pelham tried something new. From June 27 to July 4, members of FBC Pelham participated in the annual church-wide mission trip, doing service right here in Shelby County.

FBC members participated in a variety of mission activities all across Shelby County, doing service work in Helena, Alabaster, Calera, Chelsea, Columbiana, Montevallo and at home in Pelham, Administrative Pastor Don Dixon explained, noting the mission trip’s mantra, “a heart for Shelby, a heart for home.”

“We were busy from sun up to sundown every day,” Dixon said.

The congregation hosted a morning Back Yard Bible Club for children at Pelham’s Green Park South, Cahaba Lily Park in Helena and Oliver Park in Calera. They also held a sports camp for “grade school kids” in Alabaster’s Municipal Park.

Dixon estimated the congregation served more than 100 Shelby County children between the two programs.

FBC members also partnered with the University of Montevallo’s Baptist Campus Ministry to trim hedges and do “basic yard work type things,” helped Chelsea’s Mt. Signal Baptist Church congregation complete painting projects and held five evening block parties.

Although different from past years, Dixon said this year’s mission trip was “overall a big positive.”

“As a church, we’re trying to be very sensitive to what God wants us to do,” Dixon said, noting the idea to stay in Shelby County came out of the congregation’s prayers. “The Bible teaches us to do missions at home.”

Staying in Shelby County had its benefits, Dixon said, noting the high number of participants in this year’s mission trip.

“We probably had over 130 people involved in this, that’s more than what we average (on mission trips) right now,” Dixon said. “Seventy-five or 80 of us actually stayed in our annex.”

In addition to increased participation, Dixon said staying in Shelby County has “opened avenues” for continuing service work.

“Mission work can happen and should happen here at home,” Dixon said. “(This trip) opened the eyes of our (congregation) to see the needs right here in our community.”