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The Open Door


At our convention annual meeting at the Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula, Georgia, we will be collecting 20,000 backpacks for the children of Appalachia. I thought you might be interested in knowing more about our work in Appalachia from a recent report I received from Bill Barker who serves as the National Director for Appalachian Regional Ministries. Georgia Baptists have been in partnership with Bill, serving alongside him and under his leadership among the people in Appalachia since Appalachian Regional Ministries first began.

In his recent annual report, Bill states that mission volunteers have come from across the Southern Baptist Convention to serve in the rural communities in central Appalachia as well as in the metropolitan cities that cover the region from Alabama to New York. Close to 43,000 volunteers have served this year with over 3,500 salvation decisions. There are over 100 compassion ministry sites where Dewey and Kathie Aiken, National MSC missionaries, assist the ministry to impoverished children, families and elderly persons.

Bill reports that in 2012 working with the Georgia Baptist Convention, WMUs, and churches within other states, Appalachian Regional Ministries collected and delivered 5,800 Christmas backpacks for Appalachian children. In his national report, Bill shares the fact that this year our Georgia Baptist Convention has challenged our churches to collect 20,000 backpacks for the children of Appalachia and that ARM is challenging churches outside of Georgia to collect an additional 10,000 backpacks for the children.

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