It has been two thousand years since Jesus uttered the oft-quoted words “Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these… you have done it to me,” but they are as penetrating and inspiring as ever. Those words inspired a church staff to envision a community engagement event in which most of the congregation would spread throughout their community serving the people Jesus had in mind when he spoke them.
That was the fall of 1994. The church had no models of community ministry as they envisioned it to follow. None existed as far as they knew. So, like the Wright brothers, they built their own. Spring of 1995 the first Operation Inasmuch event was held. Two-thirds of the Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, Fayetteville, North Carolina congregation conducted about twenty-five ministry projects, from replacing roofs to building wheelchair ramps, from young children planting flowers at the homes where construction work took place to church women putting on a baby shower for unwed mothers, from women sewing lap robes for nursing home patients to a diverse group assembling “care packages” for low-income families.
Response from the Snyder congregation was immediate and overwhelming: “Let’s do this again!” And they did… again and again and again, twice a year for the next ten years. Two results surfaced from those Inasmuch events. One, serving people in need in the community became part of Snyder’s DNA. The church still does Inasmuch almost 30 years later, as well as many other compassion ministry endeavors. Two, other churches who learned of Inasmuch conducted their own events in Fayetteville and elsewhere in North Carolina.
In 2007, Operation Inasmuch Inc., a self-sustaining non-profit, was launched by David Crocker, Senior Pastor of Snyder Memorial when the model was developed. Since 2007, at least 5,500 Inasmuch events have taken place in 24 states and seven countries on four continents with 267,000 volunteers, producing 38 million dollars of ministry and just under two million people in need being served as of January 2024. To God be the glory!! He inspired its beginning in 1994, the inception of the full-time ministry in 2007, and has wrought its amazing expansion.
One of David Crocker’s favorite sayings is “When we do what God has in mind, He always had more in mind.” The Inasmuch story proves this truth. It was never anticipated by him or anyone at Snyder Memorial Baptist that God would use Inasmuch as He has, and yet this conclusion is compelling. May God continue to use Inasmuch to mobilize His people to serve people in need wherever they are.
About the Founder
Dr. David W. Crocker
David served nearly 30 years as a pastor and senior pastor in various church settings. He and leaders of Snyder Memorial Baptist Church inaugurated the first two Inasmuch Days in 1995. The success of these led Dr. Crocker to write the books Operation Inasmuch: Mobilizing Believers Beyond the Walls of the Church and The Samaritan Way: Lifestyle Compassion Ministry in order to encourage and equip churches to serve their communities with compassion.
David launched Inasmuch as a nonprofit ministry in 2007 and served as Executive Director and Author in Residence until 2023, when he retired.