“Get involved in the community!” It’s a statement that we see everywhere. Whether it’s a walk for diabetes, running for school board or county council, feeding the homeless, or a local blood drive, getting involved in the community is an appeal that we have responded to. Here are some of the ways that the Historic First Baptist Church members have gotten involved in our community.
- We marched with local students in the largest youth-led protest in the United States and the world since Vietnam to be heard by legislators on the issues of gun violence. We visit the elderly, the sick and shut-in in all of our local hospitals.
- Our members have volunteered at the WHRO television station to help raise funds for public television and positive programming.
- Our members work with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a civil rights organization founded in 1909 to fight prejudice, lynching, and Jim Crow segregation, and to work for the betterment of "people of color."
- We support RESTORE and Habitat for Humanity.
- Our Care Groups purchase backpacks and filled them with food for children in the community.
- We partner with other churches in the community to provide shelter for the homeless.
- Our members work with All Together Williamsburg, a community organization bridging racial, ethnic and cultural lines.
- We volunteer at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail to pray with, and for, the inmates and correctional officers.
Our community involvement is not just for good PR. It is for the gospel. Christians, because they’ve been redeemed through the blood of Christ, are citizens in the community and the world. We are salt and light; we are ambassadors for Christ. Getting involved in the community is about reaching our community with this good news, using means that are available and legitimate. Our goal is the goal of the gospel - Living the gospel, proclaiming the gospel and advancing the gospel.
Our members don’t get involved in the community just for the sake of getting involved. That would be pointless. We don’t get involved in the community merely to provide something for church members to do, or to give volunteers a way to feel better about ourselves. We get involved in the community to better represent Jesus, and to make His name known.
Whatever we, the members of First Baptist Church choose to do as a church, we keep the gospel at the center. Yes, we do have fun and we get to know our brothers and sisters in the community and we do gain more respect in the community, but the real reason is to glorify God by reaching people with the gospel.