Today, nearly 500 volunteers served 58 sites around Leon County in First Baptist Tallahassee’s 11th annual First Love. We partnered with the City of Tallahassee, the Big Bend Homeless Coalition, ECHO, Chelsea House, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Big Bend, Leon County Schools, Baptist Campus Ministries, and many more to serve agencies and clients in the name of Jesus. We laid sod, taught a basketball camp, painted walls, sang in nursing homes, served communion, shared the love of Christ in word and deed, and blessed Tallahassee.
Eighty volunteers were trained to share their faith while they served through evangelistic conversations with clients and volunteers. Delta Alpha Chi sorority and Beta Theta Pi fraternity served beside the First Baptist family. Members of the Christian Life Center basketball leagues led an Upward Basketball Camp at Sabal Palm Elementary School.
I visited several of the sites and had a chance to meet many of the recipients of services. Dionne is a new resident at Hope Community, a transitional housing program for men and families in Leon County. Dionne’s son died at the age of 10, and his life hit bottom. He’s been active in his faith, attending a church in west Tallahassee. Through the services of Hope Community, Dionne is attending TCC and trying to get back to the job he loves the most. He’s a talented dry wall carpenter.
A few miles away at Chelsea House, a group from the Florida Surveying and Mapping Society volunteered on the same day as our First Love team. They’ve volunteered at Chelsea House since 2009 and were there to renovate a gazebo. I met a man who’s been back in Tallahassee for awhile but has not attended church in a long time. He serves actively with the mapping society but is searching for a church home.
For the past four years, Richard Duley has coordinated a group at the Tallahassee Veteran’s Village, a transitional housing program for veterans from all branches of the military. This year, veterans and FBC men painted stairwells together.
Tomorrow, we come to church. Today we were the church.