A grant from the Louise Burchard Pierce Memorial Fund, awarded by American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), has allowed First Baptist Church (FBC), Saratoga Springs, N.Y., to expand ministry to particular populations within the community. More specifically, the grant has funded outreach efforts to homeless individuals, survivors of intimate partner violence, Alcoholics Anonymous group participants, and to workers at a horse racing track and at dairy farms.
“FBC Saratoga is grateful for the support of ABHMS with this grant,” says the Rev. George Stefani, FBC’s pastor. “ABHMS is helping to transform our congregation and community to the glory of God.”
FBC’s ministry to the homeless includes purchasing food and clothing for adults living outdoors or at Shelters of Saratoga. In addition, FBC provides clothing—including winter coats—to Saratoga Springs City School District students who live with their immediate families in county-financed motel rooms or who live apart from their immediate families with neighbors, friends or extended family members.
All bedsheets and pillows at WellSpring, a Saratoga Springs shelter for survivors of intimate-partner violence, are provided by FBC. The church offers “welcome home kits”—including kitchenware, cleaning supplies and hygiene items—to those relocating from the shelter to their own apartments.
Attendees of FBC-hosted Alcoholics Anonymous meetings have not only been invited to attend the church’s dinner and Bible study but have also been offered recovery Bibles.
FBC has purchased sewing, knitting and other supplies for its weekly life-skills ministry to female workers at Saratoga Race Course. In May, other American Baptist churches were invited to join FBC in assembling hygiene items and snacks as Father’s Day gifts for migrant workers at Saratoga Springs-area dairy farms. The gifts were boxed and wrapped by Saratoga Springs High School seniors, several of whom had no prior association with a faith community.
The Louise Burchard Pierce Memorial Fund is awarded to qualifying churches in rural New York state.
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