How College Heights Baptist Church is Answering God's Call
God's call is to take His message into all the world. We, College Heights Baptist Church, take that message seriously. Missions activity has been, and continues to be, a special part of College Height's ministry.
We Pray--We maintain personal contact with seven full-time missionary families in order to pray for their specific ministry needs, their people groups, and their personal and spiritual needs. We pray for specific short-term missionaries and for God's workers in the ends of the earth.
We Give--We actively support international missions through the annual Lottie Moon Christmas offering, North American missions through the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, and the Kansas/Nebraska missions through the Viola Webb offering. Our members are generous givers and each year we receive recognition from the Smokey Hill Baptist Association for being a "Top Giving Church" in our association.
We Go--Over the years we have sponsored a number of missionaries from within our church body who have served or are still serving in a variety of countries including: India, Chile, Peru, Eastern/Southern and Northern Africa, Central and South Asia and the Pacific Rim. Some of our missionary families have been on the field for more than 10 years, some have retired, and some are new arrivals on the field.
Over the years we have sent short-term mission teams to Omaha, NE to run a vacation Bible school on an Indian reservation; to St. Louis, MO for vacation Bible school in the inner city, to Kansas City, MO to work in soup kitchens; and to Chicago to work with inner-city youth. In our own backyard, we have sent a team to work with a trailer park ministry in Junction City, KS, and hold conversational English classes/Bible study for international students a tour church. If you would like to join us in reaching our neighborhood or the world with the Gospel message, please feel to contact Virginia Mixer.
Kansas-Nebraska Mission Offerings (PDF)
Day 1, - Ron and Kim Carr - The Carr Family (click for video)
Day 2, - Garth and Patty Leno - The Leno Family (click for video)
Day 3, - Kelly and Brandi Parrish - The Parrish Family (click for video)
Day 4, - James and Natarsha Roberson - The Roberson Family (click for video)
Day 5, - Jacob and Jessica Dahl - The Dahl Family (click for video)
Day 6, - Dan and Amanda Coleman - The Coleman Family (click for video)
The Carr Family Story
Ron and Kim Carr founded the International Learning Center (ILC), a missionary organization that takes a compassion-based approach to reaching internationals. Students take English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, undergo cultural training and learn about citizenship, health and other topics. Most importantly, the Carrs set up a supplementary reading course—a class where instructors use the Bible as the reading text. “Students sign up and welcome the reading help, and many of them are exposed to a biblical worldview for the first time,” Kim says.
The course includes a survey of the Bible and reading excerpts about Christ’s death and resurrection. When students hear about the love of Jesus, many respond in faith inside the class. The Carrs’ advice for community-based outreach? “Make sure the gospel is in the DNA of your ministry. We do this by our teaching and also by inviting church planters into our classes, so they can connect ESL students with local churches.”
The ILC has flourished in Jacksonville, and the ministry is now in the process of being replicated in other cities, such as New York.
The Leno Family Story
Garth and Patty Leno had never considered planting a church. Garth had preached before as a minister on staff. But church planting? He and Patty were content inviting people into their Windsor, Ontario home for a Saturday evening Bible study. However, God began to reveal He had other plans.
The Bible study outgrew their living room and started meeting at a local golf club. Then they outgrew two bigger rooms. The Gathering Church in Windsor was forming naturally and organically with the invisible hand of God guiding their steps the entire time. “One day I jokingly asked, ‘Maybe we should start a church?’” Garth said. “All the people agreed, and Patty started sobbing. I think I must have been the most reluctant church planter.”
The Gathering Church has experienced steady growth and now meets in its own building, one strategically located to reach younger families. The church regularly gives money to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® out of gratitude, but also because they believe so much in reaching new people and planting new churches through North American Mission Board's Send Network model.
The Parrish Family Story
Kelly and Brandi Parrish started praying about church planting while living in Texas. It would mean leaving family, friends and the state they loved. One thing that helped during those transitional times was asking God to break their hearts for the people in Colorado, to birth love for the strangers who would soon be neighbors. Their prayer bore fruit.
During the process of planting Living Rock Church, the Parrishes have reached out to neighbors by tying Scripture verses to Halloween candy and organizing Easter egg hunts that culminated with sharing the gospel. They invest in people while fly fishing or having sweet tea together. “We never told anyone we were here to plant a church. We’re here for them. We came to love them,” Brandi says.
Today the Parrishes welcome and provide a safe place for many in the neighborhood. Kelly and Brandi invite people to their house with Texas-style hospitality and have already rejoiced over multiple salvation decisions. God is building Living Rock Church from the ground up, one person at a time. “Planting is supernatural,” Kelly says. “Only God can raise someone from death to life.”
The Roberson Family Story
As a Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) church planter, James Roberson and his wife, Natarsha, moved their family to unfamiliar Brooklyn to plant The Bridge Church. James trusted the Lord to open the right doors for him. “I just opened up the book of Acts and tried it,” he says.
One day while prayer walking, James passed by Long Island University, Brooklyn, a campus with no evangelical presence for seven years. He put his hand on a building and prayed, “God, would you open a door on this campus for me or someone else?” As he walked into the foyer, two students were arguing, one of them yelling, “Yes, He is.” When this student saw James approach, she turned to him and asked, “Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?” After this amazing encounter, a few meetings in the Dean’s office and God’s orchestration of events, Pastor James now has an on-campus student ministry called Ignite, along with his own office inside the freshmen dorm.
When asked about Brooklyn’s culture, James says, “The authenticity radar is the highest in the country. You have to be competent and admit your failures.” God has honored The Bridge Church’s authenticity through the fruit of conversions and baptisms, a clothing ministry for the homeless and future plans to plant a second church.
The Dahl Family Story
During Jacob Dahl's senior year of college at Washington State University, Jesus came into his life and changed him forever. So when the opportunity to plant a church on a college campus arose, Jacob and his wife, Jessica, jumped at the chance.
Resonate Church seeks to befriend the lost—a large population at Central Washington University (CWU) in Ellensburg, since only 1 in 10 students are followers of Jesus. The best time to reach students is the beginning of the school year. Nearly 2,500 freshmen arrive at CWU every year, and the Dahls reach out to them before they settle into a routine that doesn't include spiritual development. Jacob says, “Freshmen week is blitz week; we’re so busy we hardly sleep. Our outreach efforts during this time fuel the whole year.”
The Dahls believe it’s important to stay focused on Jesus rather than entering into debates or arguments on campus. “We need to always begin with and stay focused on Jesus,” Jacob says. They pray regularly for the students to be reached with Truth and turn to Christ.
The Coleman Family Story
Dan Coleman says he and his wife, Amanda, are “New Englanders who know New England.” As missionaries to their native culture, they intuitively created an outreach strategy contextualized to their community. From city officials to families with kids, members of Kennebec Community Church are constantly building relationships with the people around them.
Running sports camps for children has been a natural fit for what is known as one of the least-religious places in the country. “We have outreach to hundreds of kids, and we get to receive their families into church the Sunday after camp,” Dan says. When families experience the worshipful and biblical community of Kennebec Community Church, it causes them to take a fresh look at Jesus. Several have already joined the church and been baptized.
Kennebec Community Church also places a strong emphasis on Christ community—church members eating meals together, gathering regularly for Bible study and prayer and meeting one another’s practical needs. “In a cold, often depressed area,” Dan says,” Jesus is bringing new life to the people of Maine.” Dan now has the opportunity, while continuing to serve Kennebec, to come alongside future planters in the area in his role as a Church Planting Catalyst with the North American Mission Board.