GREENVILLE - One City Mission, is a growing part of Gospel Baptist Church, which “exists to generate a movement of Jesus followers who are passionate about living out the gospel in Greenville,” said Pastor Bill Edwards. One City Mission seeks to “break the chains of spiritual and physical poverty, one family at a time,” Edwards added.
“It’s really a trickle down effect, something fluid that is passed on. People have been generous to give to you, now in the same way, would you give to others to be a blessing? And that’s what a community is really all about,” Edwards stated. “With each individual and family that we have reached out to, and helped, we want to see it get to the point where they’ve been helped and now they’re at a place where they can help other people…”
“I love Greenville; and we pray for our city,” Edwards continued. “There are a lot of needs. If we would be neighborly, and care for the people around us, I think a lot of peoples’ needs would be met. It has to start somewhere, so we pray at Gospel, One City Mission, that we show that kind of love within our community and with the people around us.”
They’re fulfilling their mission through a food and furniture pantry, helping families at no cost, completely through donations from the community and their church family, Edwards noted. There are no guidelines to receive assistance, said Dana Emrick, food pantry director.
“A couple of years ago, we felt that we needed to meet the practical needs, and we believe Jesus would do that,” said Edwards. “We believe that the spiritual changes everything; but we also need to address the physical, day-to-day needs. Who doesn’t need help? Every family needs help, and Gospel is supporting that notion. We spend hundreds of dollars each month to help families in need because it’s a practical way of showing Jesus Christ’s love.”
The furniture ministry began from a need within the Gospel family, explained Angie Miller, director.
“We started, nearly three years ago, with someone at the church who needed some furniture; she was getting back on her feet,” Miller noted. “We put it out there on Facebook and the response was overwhelming, we were able to furnish her entire apartment, and even though it came from several different sources, it all matched.”
It made them realize, Miller said, that there were many members, not only within the Gospel family, but within the community, who wanted to help in this way.
“A lot of people have said to us that it means a lot for them to be able to give us something, and know that we’re handing it freely to someone within our community who needs it,” Miller stated. “Goodwill has a place, and it’s awesome, but the fact is, if you have no money, Goodwill isn’t going to do you any good.”
And their help is completely free, with no strings attached, Edwards and Miller explained.
“People come in and they can’t believe we’re just giving this stuff away,” Miller said. “They think it’s about the money, and they feel like they should offer, but I have to tell them that I’m not going to take their money. On the other side, people keep giving us stuff because they know it’s going freely to someone in need. I think we all want, in some way or another, to help people. This gives people an easy way to feel they’re helping someone in the community, even if they’re not out directly serving, they’re still part of it because they’re able to give.”
To donate, volunteer, or to receive assistance, contact Dana Emrick, food pantry director, at 937-423-3226, or Angie Miller, furniture ministry director, at 937-642-6628. One City Mission doesn’t currently have open hours, but is located at 440 Wayne Ave., Greenville. Donations can be mailed to Gospel P.O. Box 14, Greenville, Ohio 45331. Learn more at www.gbcgreenville.org/#/one-city-mission.