SIDNEY — Dave Shepherd, pastor of Calvary United Baptist Church in Sidney, has a problem and it’s growing.
But it’s one of those “good problems to have,” that people talk about: his congregation is increasing by leaps and bounds, especially his congregation of children. There are so many kids attending Sunday morning and Wednesday evening services, that his volunteer children’s church leaders have been stretched to the limit.
Shepherd is looking for people who can run children’s church activities from 10:45 a.m. to noon on Sundays and small group discussions with kids from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays.
“We started as a small church on Michigan Street,” he said recently. The church was opened in 1965. Shepherd has been pastor for 15 years.
“In 2000, we built a new building on N. County Road 25 A. We have tripled the size of the congretation since then. Two years ago, we built a youth center on the back of the church. We expected to start small. Without trying, we’ve grown and grown. It has just taken off and been very overwhelming. We need help,” he added.
He hopes that Baptists who have an interest in volunteering for a youth ministry will consider doing so at Calvary United.
“There’s probably people that youth is their ministry. Maybe there are people who are looking for where they can do their ministry,” he said.
As many as 90 children from 3 to 17 show up each week for spiritual guidance from church members. A church bus picks up children and families from throughout Sidney. There have been so many who want to attend the services, that the bus has to make two runs.
“There’s so many families in such bad shape. We tell them that the Lord loves them and they’re special,” Shepherd said. The church supports food and clothing pantries for those in need.
“We have a puppet ministry, songs, games, youth activities. We need people who will help to develop (the program) and do as God leads. Many (of the young people) have never heard a Bible story. I’ve had to restructure everything for the kids,” he said. “As a church, we’re family-oriented, conservative, extremely faith-based. We’re looking for spirit-led people to help.”
Applicants will be interviewed and must pass a background check.
For information or to volunteer, call 492-5662 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824. Follow her on Twitter @PASpeelmanSDN.