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The women of First Baptist Church support various mission projects.
Our women’s CIRCLE meets each month, usually on the third Thursday, in a different member’s home. The closeness and love developed over time by the women of FBC allows for heartfelt discussions in a friendly environment. We have a Bible devotion at each meeting, snacks, and a business meeting to organize our projects. Prayer is always a must at each meeting as we do our best to follow where the Lord leads.
ABWM has many activities scheduled throughout the year as needs arise. We have made pumpkin rolls in November to sell to fund our mission projects for the last few years. Soup-to-Go has been a great fund raiser project. Ideas are always welcome as we strive to find ways to meet the needs of our church people, our community and our world. Our meals team includes women and men alike as we reach out to our congregation when a meal may be needed following an illness, surgery or other reasons.
One fun activity we plan each year is our annual Christmas Progressive Dinner. Couples and singles alike, travel the area to enjoy a festive time of fellowship. We start our excursion at a member’s home for hearty appetizers and travel to another for desserts. Everyone joins in for a competitive Christmas Ornament Exchange. Laughter and food are the main events!
Here’s some of the ministry efforts in which they are involved.
The Love Gift: Love Gift is an ongoing ministry that was started in 1932 to help raise $150,000 to help the American Baptist Churches to overcome a crisis in deficit to allow God’s work to continue in our denomination. Love Gift began as an over-and-above-tithing collection of pennies and other coins. This collection continues today to bless the breadth of American Baptist ministries and missions happening in regions, the U.S. and around the world. West Virginia women continue to lead in giving to this ministry.
Mission Outreach Project (MOP): MOP is a women’s ministry chosen each year in West Virginia to support a specific ministry to grow or begin. In 2016, we raised money to buy water filters in the Dominican Republic to allow families to have pure drinking and cooking water. In 2017, we are helping Juan and Denise Aragon purchase a 4-WD vehicle as they embark on their mission work in Chiapas, Mexico. Our 2018 project was Trees from Zechariah 3 for South Africa – to create sustainable nursery locations employing local people and producing fruit for local sale and distribution thus beautifying urban slums and combat hunger and malnutrition.
Scholarship Girl: Each year, young women across West Virginia are chosen to receive not just monetary, but prayers, cards and well wishes as they embark on their education at colleges and universities. The girls complete a form, obtain a letter from their pastor, write a letter/essay on a personal reflection of her life, and other required documentation. Each entry is reviewed by the Executive Board of WV ABWM each spring. For 2017 and 2018, FBC Ravenswood has 3 girls who were chosen as Scholarship Girls.
Special Projects: A new Special Project is chosen each year for the ABWM. The project one for a West Virginia ministry only. All funds received will go for the support of this ministry. In 2018, our Special Project is to raise funds for new roofing for the lodges at Parchment Valley Conference Center. Our project goal is $12,000.
Project Good Samaritan: The purpose of Project Good Samaritan is to provide a helping hand to destitute family members of hospital patients by providing a limited number of hot meals and/or initial prescriptions upon the patient’s discharge from the hospital. This help is granted as a ‘last resort’ when all other avenues of financial help have been exhausted. The ABWM works closely with the Social Services personnel in several hospitals throughout West Virginia.
White Cross: White Cross projects reach out here in West Virginia as well as around the world! Different projects are listed and we can choose where our heart leads. We send money for Myanmar (formerly Burma) in remembrance of Frances Crooks, an FBC member who spent years there as a missionary. Frances is buried in Burma. We have collected items for Weirton Christian Center here in WV and for the Cameron Christian Center in New York. We roll bandages for mission fields in Africa and other places around the world. The Lord’s work is going on everywhere!
Teddy Bear Ministry: The Teddy Bear Ministry is an FBC creation of our local ABWM. The ladies join forces yearly or as needed to cut, sew, stuff, and love on teddy bears to be distributed to children displaced in the area. These cuddly bears each have a heart embroidered on them as a sign that the kids are loved.