Our 6 member team left early Tuesday morning, the day after our annual meeting. We spent a couple days visiting with pastors and leaders in Vermont, discovering what God is doing and learning how we can partner with the work. We had four pastors in the group: Gary Forrest of FBC, Corrigan, Stephen Forrest of FBC, Zavalla, Lee Johnson of Beacon Bay in Livingston. Jamie Smith from the mission team of FBC, Diboll was also on the trip.
Wednesday morning we met with some of the leaders from Mission City Church in Rutland, VT. They have recently been given a property with a large house and meeting area sitting on multiple acres in Rutland. This property is being renovated to allow them to host teams, do youth outreach, house interns, and do a multitude of other ministry projects. Mission City is a growing church with multiple services and multiple campuses.
We hosted about 12 pastors and leaders at lunch on Wednesday at a local restaurant in Rutland. This was a key time to meet pastors and hear their stories. There are so many needs and we discovered that many of these pastors are the only ones leading an evangelical church in their town and even their county. There is also an opportunity to lead a summer retreat for pastors and families. This is something we are thinking very seriously about.
After a long lunch we met with Pastor Joel Aubrey of New Creation Church in Granville, NY, just across the border from VT. Joel’s church meets in a former furniture store in this community of a few thousand. There are opportunities to do construction work with Joel as well as outreach and community ministry.
On Thursday we met with the president of Northeastern Baptist College, Mark Ballard. Mark shared the history and vision of NEBC and helped us understand the challenges and opportunities to minister in New England. Steve preached at the chapel service that morning and then we toured the rest of the campus sites around Bennington. This is where our team worked this summer and it was great to see the progress on the building we worked on previously. The college is in constant need of construction work as they seek to complete student housing that will allow the campus to continue to grow.
In the next month or so we will present some mission opportunities for your church to participate in during the summer of 2023. If you have questions about how you can be part of reaching New England with the gospel stop by the office or call anytime. If your church would like to hear about the opportunities in Vermont let us know and Steve will be happy to share with you anytime.