What began as an outreach to downtown businesses has now transformed into a vital ministry to their community. Twenty years ago, the Deacons of First Baptist Church in Sault Ste Marie had a vision to reach the lawyers and business people in the downtown core by giving them a place to come and have coffee. The outreach didn’t connect with their community as they had hoped, but Bonnie Mavretic and the small group she attended were not deterred.
Pastor Jack DeVries says that Bonnie went back to the drawing board to discover the needs in their neighbourhood. Bonnie noticed those who struggled financially often couldn’t afford milk, and she resolved to do something about it.
Each Tuesday morning (summers excluded) First Baptist welcomes 60–70 people for Coffee With Our Neighbours. Guests socialize over coffee and goodies, followed by a devotional time. At the conclusion, each person leaves with bags of milk for their household.
First Baptist purchases all the milk for the program themselves – they see it as a tool to reach their city and impact the community. Through CWON the church has had the privilege of seeing salvations and baptisms, and a number of participants attending the church.
Perhaps your community doesn’t need a milk program, but Pastor Jack wants you to find your niche. “Find one unique thing you can do in your neighbourhood with the combination of people, skills and geography that God has provided, and then do it. We can all provide something along side of the gospel message that will make a valuable community impact.”
For more info on CWON or the work of First Baptist, contact Pastor Jack DeVries.