I am very excited to announce that First Baptist has partnered with another local congregation called Loving and Encouraging Ministries. Loving and Encouraging Ministries is a church that started in a home here in Peoria in 2012. Pastors Rodney and Kim Miller have been leading this ministry since its start. They have seen enough growth to lead them to seek a larger space than the house where they have been meeting. Recently they began renting our chapel on Sunday mornings at 11:00 a.m. for worship and our synagogue room for children’s church. They also have a Bible study on Thursday nights and a men’s group one Friday night per month.
One of the ways they hope to grow is by offering a summer day camp this month. This plan arose from their desire to minister to children from low income neighborhoods. Having seen children mistreated and abused, they felt a calling from God to give children in Peoria a safe place to play and learn. First Baptist has been hosting the summer camp, and the results have been terrific. Most days there are 25 children signed up, though they don’t all attend every day. This camp has helped them grow their own children’s church, which was very well attended last Sunday.
I have been impressed with Pastor Rodney’s and Pastor Kim’s passion and energy for mission since I have met them. They are very open to collaborating with us on a number of ministries. We hope to work with them on youth ministry, children’s ministries, and maybe other areas. We introduced them at the worship service on July 19th. If you get a chance, make sure you stop by and greet them on a Sunday morning. We’re looking forward to the way God can work in both of our congregations through this new opportunity.