NC Churches Experience Renewal Through Inasmuch

2018 marks the 10th year of North Carolina Baptist Missions partnering with Operation Inasmuch in an every-other-year, state-wide emphasis and regional training events. Beginning January 27 through March 3, 2018, there will be regionalInasmuch Day training events for each of the ten regions designated within the Missions Department of the Convention. Executive Director, John Daugherty, and Founder, David Crocker, will be conducting these events.

Logan and John at a 2016 NC training event.

The relationship between Operation Inasmuch and the NC Baptist State Convention actually began in the late1990’s when Dr. Crocker was senior pastor at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, Fayetteville, NC. He along other church leaders designed the model for an Inasmuch Day event. Snyder Memorial has continued to lead the annual “Blitz” Inasmuch Day for 22 years which has now become a large United event involving as many as 20 other churches in the Fayetteville area. Within two or three years of designing the model, there was growing interest in sharing the model throughout the state of NC. [Read more…]

10 Years and Going Strong in Essex County, VA

Any one who has ever started something knows how hard it is to keep it going.  New events, organizations or programs usually begin with an exciting vision—dreams about what is possible, about how the world (maybe just the community) will be better as a result of the vision–but that vision almost always fades with the passing of time.  And its initiators are left with less going for them than when they began.

So, when a handful of “dreamers” in Essex County, Virginia on the southern shore of the Rappahannock River not far from the Atlantic began Inasmuch United Essex in 2008, their vision was many of the congregations of various denominations and races working together to serve people in need in their community.  David Crocker, Founder of Inasmuch says: “I remember clearly the training session in early 2008 in Tappahannock.  One percent of the total county population turned out to participate!  I knew then that something unusual was afoot in that small Virginia community.  It is no surprise that ten years later Inasmuch United is still going strong there.” [Read more…]

Inasmuch United Brings Unity

The following story is the kind that makes what we do at Operation Inasmuch so rewarding, and encourages us to keep on keeping on!

There are two Concord Baptist Churches in Chase City, Virginia. Following the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, the black members of Concord Church requested permission to form their own autonomous congregation. Property was donated adjacent to the original, separated by the cemetery, and the two congregations have been neighbors for more than 150 years, and share the same name.

Here is the story as shared by one of the pastors, Rev. John Mann of the original Concord Church, and published in The News Progress, posted May 3, 2017. [Read more…]

Inasmuch Facilitates Public-Private Partnership

Public-private partnerships are the rage in communities—collaborative efforts involving public or governmental entities, private agencies and churches.  Just such a partnership took place in May in High Point, North Carolina and Inasmuch was the tool that brought it together.

When David Crocker visited with the principals of this partnership in June, they were thrilled with how well their Inasmuch event went.  They had more volunteers than they needed.  They saved the City many thousands of dollars since the home repairs were done by volunteers.  The president of the Home Owners Association in the neighborhood where the projects took place said more owners have joined the HOA and a general sense of pride in the neighborhood has been on the rise since the Inasmuch event.  A well done video tells the story of this amazing partnership.  It may be seen above or by clicking here. [Read more…]

Schools Get Boost from Inasmuch

United Sweetwater

Increasingly, public schools are considered off-limits for churches and church groups.  Not so in Sweetwater, Tennessee.  At their May meeting, the Sweetwater School Board recognized four churches that held their first Inasmuch United Sweetwater for the work they did on behalf of several of their schools in April.  Three hundred volunteers from First Baptist, First Presbyterian, First United Methodist and First Assembly of God fanned out throughout the small town between Knoxville and Chattanooga conducting 26 Inasmuch projects and serving their community including work done at the schools.

In 2015, First Baptist, Sweetwater conducted their first Inasmuch Day with two-thirds of their members participating.  Encouraged by that success, they wanted to make it bigger and better this year, so they invited the 3 other congregations to join them.  David Crocker trained a team from all the churches how to expand the Inasmuch Day to an Inasmuch United.  At least six other congregations in Sweetwater have already asked if they can participate in 2017!! [Read more…]

Inasmuch in the Philippines

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Inasmuch United Taken to a New Level

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Some of the volunteers serving and those served gather for a group picture.

Many churches are learning that they can impact their community with Inasmuch, but what about the world?!  Congregations in Radford, Virginia, would answer in a resounding Yes!  Four Radford churches (Baptist, Methodist, Christian and Presbyterian) conducted their first Inasmuch United event in September of 2014.

But they didn’t stop there.  They also “collaborated” with two congregations in the Philippines which conducted their first Inasmuch on the same day!  (Actually, since the Philippines is located west of the international date line, their Inasmuch was technically the date before the one in Radford.)  The Filipino congregations videoed their Inasmuch and posted it on YouTube.  When the Radford churches gathered for their Inasmuch, they were able to see what their Filipino brothers and sisters did a few hours before!  [Read more…]

Mr. Inasmuch Transforms His Community

How much can one person do to impact his community?  Ask Joel Singletary of Sumter, South Carolina.  In April he and his wife, Libby, were honored by Sumter’s Mayor Joe McElveen for their volunteer work in Sumter—Libby for her countless hours spent at United Ministries serving wherever she can be helpful and Joel for his leadership in leading his church, Alice Drive Baptist Church, and 18 other congregations in Inasmuch United Sumter.

From left, Mark Champagne, United Ministries director; Libby Singletary; Mayor Joe McElveen; and Joel Singletary. Joel and Libby Singletary received the Mayor's Award for Outstanding Community Service.

From left, Mark Champagne, United Ministries director; Libby Singletary; Sumter Mayor Joe McElveen; and Joel Singletary.  Joel and Libby Singletary received the Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Community Service.

It began in 2009 when Joel’s pastor, Dr. Clay Smith of Alice Drive Baptist Church, showed Joel an article about Operation Inasmuch.  He took several folk from his church to a Lutheran-sponsored Inasmuch training in the winter of 2009.  Shortly thereafter, he led his church to conduct their first Inasmuch Day.  The story is told in the video “Roosevelt’s Story” on the Inasmuch website:   http://www.operationinasmuch.org/stories-of-the-revolution/roosevelts-story/.

God soon impressed Singletary with the vision of seeing many churches in Sumter working together to serve people in need.  He shared his vision with David Crocker, Executive Director of Operation Inasmuch, Inc. and scheduled www.cgfp.org/buy-celexa-online/ David to conduct training sessions for 21 congregations in the Sumter area.  “Joel went door to door from one church to another talking with anyone in those churches who would listen to him share about Inasmuch and how their church could be involved,” says Crocker.  “He worked tirelessly, often without much success and totally without recognition,” adds Crocker, “but Inasmuch is where it is today in Sumter because of Joel Singletary’s efforts.   This is why it’s so good that he is finally being recognized for all the work he has done.  I am personally pleased that Joel Singletary is known as Mr. Inasmuch of Sumter.”  [Read more…]

Inasmuch Spans the Rappahannock

The Rappahannock River runs from about King George, Virginia (east of Interstate 95) to the Chesapeake Bay.  As it gets closer to the Chesapeake, it becomes a substantial river of up to 1.5 miles wide!  Turns out this expansive river is not much of a barrier for Inasmuch!

Essex County, Virginia is on the western shore of the Rappahannock.  In 2008 about 20 churches there conducted their first Inasmuch United Essex and have followed every year since with more churches and more volunteers each year.  In recent years organizers have talked about taking a year off, but the churches have resisted.  They say it is one of the most significant events in their community all year!

Inasmuch United Rappahannock

In 2009 word about Inasmuch “floated” across the Rappahannock to the region known as Northern Neck Virginia which includes the counties on the eastern shore of the Rappahannock.  In 2010 a number of congregations in Richmond and Westmoreland Counties conducted their first Inasmuch United Northern Neck event.  It expanded the following year to include congregations in Northumberland County.

“On Saturday, September 28, hundreds of local Operation Inasmuch volunteers wearing conspicuous red shirts will once again be working throughout the Northern Neck as part of the fourth annual Inasmuch United Northern Neck event,” reads the opening line of the lead article in the Northern Neck News, September 20 issue.  The article continues:  “At 8:00 AM volunteers from three counties representing over twenty churches and several local organizations will begin work on numerous projects in the community to help neighbors in need.”

David Crocker, Executive Director of Operation Inasmuch, Inc., says:  “Needless to say, the expansion of Inasmuch in northeastern Virginia is gratifying.  I just wish everyone associated with Inasmuch, especially our donors, could hear how excited believers on both sides of the Rappahannock are about Inasmuch.  At a workshop I led in Virginia last May, a person involved in the Inasmuch United Northern Neck went on and on about what Inasmuch has meant to that region.”

The Rappahannock is fast becoming a model for the rest of Virginia.  Plans are underway for a statewide Inasmuch in October of 2014.  The goal is to have 80 percent of the Baptist churches in the state conduct Inasmuch events across the state during a period of 4 weeks.  The Inasmuch ministry is working with the Steering Committee of Operation Inasmuch – Virginia to accomplish these lofty goals.  Already 3 Inasmuch training sessions have been conducted in the state with 2 more set for this October and as many as half a dozen next March.

Says David Crocker:  “No river is too wide and no mountain is too high for Inasmuch to get across it with the message that God’s mercy is best shown, then talked.  Without a doubt, Inasmuch is changing the way people in Virginia think about church!”

God Winks at Fort Myers

Inasmuch United Fort Myers…HUGE Success!!

Have you seen God wink?  Silly question, you say.  No one sees God, much less His wink!  Some compassionate souls at Fort Myers, Florida, would beg to differ.  They were part of the first Inasmuch United Fort Myers on February 2 and some of them saw God wink.

God winks when our plans go wrong and where they put us is just the place God wants us to be.  We make a wrong turn on a journey only to discover an opportunity we would have missed if we had stayed “on course” and God winks. We fail to get the job of our dreams only to learn later that the company was on shaky ground and soon folded and God winks.

Ready to work...

Ready for a painting project … wonder where he saw God wink during his Inasmuch United Fort Myers experience.

Nine congregations of various denominations and races united in Fort Myers to mobilize right at 1000 people to minister to thousands of their neighbors in need in 75 compassion ministry projects and God was winking the entire day.  One wink was when a volunteer named John went to a Laundromat to “feed the machines,” e.g. pay for up to 3 loads of laundry for customers on the day of the Inasmuch United.  But John went to the wrong Laundromat, but instead of correcting his error, he stayed and served the people there.  One woman was suspicious of his offer to pay for her laundry, so John explained that he was helping out with his community’s Inasmuch because God had been good to him and he wanted to share some of the blessing.  The woman not only accepted his help but also shared that she had recently lost her husband.  As a way of dealing with her grief she had started a blog for other grieving people.  She had just received a response from a woman in another Florida city who had just lost her son to suicide.   Well, . . . John and his wife lost their son to suicide 30 years ago.  So, John and his wife are now communicating with that mother in the other city.  And God winked.

Another volunteer was disappointed to discover on the day of the Inasmuch United Fort Myers that the project she had signed up to do had fallen through at the last minute.  She asked to be reassigned and didn’t really care to which project.  She was sent to a house that was to be pressure washed and painted—with stucco exterior.  Until she arrived no one realized that the project leader had purchased the wrong kind of paint.  Since this volunteer and her husband own a paint store, she went to her store and got the correct paint and donated it to the project.  And God winked.  Next year, she and her husband will donate all the paint to be used on all the painting projects!  So, God may be winking for a long time in Fort Myers.

David Crocker, who went to Fort Myers to train church leaders there to plan and conduct their Inasmuch United event, says:  “These stories illustrate a truth we often hear from folk who participate in an Inasmuch event, namely whenever we do what God tells us to do, He always has more in mind.  When we are obedient to his calling to serve people in need in Jesus’ name, He takes our sometimes simple acts of obedience and does far more with them than we could ever expect.”

Being the Hands and Feet of Jesus by helping to feed the hungry … another Inasmuch United Fort Myers project.

 

When has God winked during your Inasmuch experience?  “God has winked at Inasmuch so many times in recent years that we’ve lost count!” says Crocker.

Eureka! An Inasmuch United

The following article appeared on Wednesday, August 29, in the Woodford County (Illinois) News Bulletin:

Third Operation Inasmuch Event Completes 15 Projects

By Legal Record Webmaster

EUREKA – The third Operation Inasmuch project, sponsored by Eureka Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), was held on a very warm Saturday, Aug. 4, in Eureka.

Members and friends of ECC and St. Luke’s Catholic Church were sent out to complete work projects for 15 homeowners who either could not afford or physically complete repair work on their homes.

Applications for projects were taken by the church, and site evaluators screened the requested work to be sure it met the skills of church members and could be completed in one day.

Work included trimming bushes and trees, painting fences, porch and step repair, doorbell installation and other tasks. Other teams cheap cipro online working at the church made shawls and walker bags for local nursing homes residents, prepared food for the work teams and cleaned the kitchen, and guided younger members of the congregation in crafts and singing for nursing home residents.

All work was completed free of charge. Funding, food, and supplies for the event were provided by individual donations, as well as the Eureka Area United Fund, Eureka IGA, Cornerstone Restaurant, Eureka Casey’s General Store.

Begun at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church in Fayettville, NC in 1995, Operation Inasmuch is “one great day of ministry to people in need by church members.” It is based on Matthew 25:40–“Truly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these, my friends, you did it to me.”