“100 yards from our driveway, Mayesville Elementary School rests in the shadow of our church, so to us, it’s very important that they know we love them—because that’s what it means to be the Church.”
That is what Maysville Baptist Church’s senior pastor Shane Roberson had to say about Maysville Elementary School, an institution the church has committed to helping in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Through the years, this congregation has allowed the school to use their facilities for graduations and emergency situations such as tornadoes and fires. “When they need somewhere safe, they can always come to us,” Roberson commented.
At the end of this school year, the church also paid for any lunch fee balances for every mid-to-low-income student and ensured that they stayed warm this winter by partnering with the Atlanta-based company, Lovvorn Construction, to purchase brand new coats for each child.
These partnerships have also expanded out to local libraries, where there is now a 6-month backlog of Maysville congregants acting as volunteer reading leaders. For the coming winter, the church has further plans to adopt two additional schools to provide students with coats and shoes.
Roberson shared, “Our heart is local as well as global, and our mission statement is ‘loving God, loving others and serving the world.’ Through our congregation, God has blessed us with opportunities to work with the county’s Department of Family Services in getting resources to foster families and helping our local pregnancy resource center. We’ve been encouraging involvement in these projects through our Family Advocacy Ministries. They help keep lots of irons in the fire as we look for opportunities to fulfill our purpose!”
When asked how he would encourage other church planters and pastors to get involved in their local communities, Roberson credited building relationships with like-minded congregations and seeking leadership mentors with a majority of these ministries’ growth: “Ask a lot of questions. There’s risk in everything we do, but we’ve got to be willing to take those risks and believe that that return on investment is worth it even though it may not be visible while you’re alive. The first seven of my eight years preaching here were spent getting church debt under control, nose to the grindstone, knowing that we would be more well-equipped to serve afterward. We want people to know that on this hillside of Maysville, despite our failures, there is a group of people who are here to help them. So, find people who will take risks with you!”
If you or your church are interested in learning more about Family Advocacy Ministries or starting one in your neighborhood, click here to get started.
Published October 18, 2023