By Vivian Shipe
KNOXVILLE, TN — They are two different ministries in size but their faith and willingness to be servants is immeasurable.
OBC, a mega church with over 2000 members and New Beginnings, a small church in the downtown area have worked hard during this Covid-19 crisis to serve the members of their congregation and the community despite the hurdles and barriers the pandemic has caused.
For both churches, the membership still needs to be encouraged in the midst of fear and the unknown, and the community still has needs that both churches are known for meeting.
Right up untill the directive came down to not gather with more than 50 then no more than ten…they keep serving no matter the challenges presented by the virus.
Overcoming Believers Church has given away truckloads of food to the needy every Tuesday for the last nine months. When the pandemic caused a shortage of food and the
delivery was threatened to be cancelled, Pastor Daryl Arnold did not blink an eye, he put out an all call the afternoon before and within two hours, the church and it’s partners had come by and brought more than enough to feed those who have nothing. The items, which lined the walls of the church were even packed by volunteers and ready for pickup before the evening ended.
Pastor Karen Arter and co pastor James Arter, of New Beginnings church on Broadway faced a similar dilemma on a smaller scale. The church had promised to fill baskets with items for a new home for those who are receiving housing for the first time. Like OBC, the pandemic threw up a barrier.
These individuals, who had nothing, but the clothes on their backs and the key to their new
homes, needed these items. They were people coming out of prison, youth who had aged out of foster care and many were homeless; all who finally had a place to call home.
However, Pastors James and Karen Arter also did not blink an eye. They, the congregation, and their partners made sure the provisions for the new homes would be supplied.
Both these churches and others around the world stand on their faith and continue to be vessels; no matter how many times they have to adapt, and adapt, and adapt.