Silver Lining: Church Breaks Ground, Sows Seeds for Future Impact Post-Storm

 In All Church of God, CHOG, Southeast

By Carl Stagner

Even storm clouds have a silver lining. That’s what Beulah First Church of God found out in the wake of catastrophic damage caused by hurricane-force straight-line winds early last year. For many years, the Eubank, Kentucky, congregation had been home to a small camp meeting; choked in COVID’s clutches, the camp meeting discontinued a few years ago, but structures remained standing—at least for a time. A giant tree, falling prey to gusty winds in 2023, claimed collateral damage—the all-season building used for camp meeting services. The silver lining became quickly apparent: while an important piece of their heritage was sadly lost, the Lord had presented Beulah First Church of God with the chance to invest in children and families of their low-income, under-resourced rural community.

After an extended children’s ministry hiatus, Beulah First Church of God knew it was time to reach out to the next generation again. Children abound in the rural region surrounding the church, but they simply weren’t coming to church on their own. By faith, the church bought a fifteen-passenger van with the proceeds from cabin sales on the property; by faith, volunteers began driving around the area, on the lookout for children who might like a ride to church. By grace, God responded to their faith by granting their prayers for children—and some of their parents, too!

Jessica Hall

“We have outgrown our space and our children don’t fit in the main church building anymore!” Pastor Jessica Hall explains. “Any event we have, our fellowship hall no longer holds everybody. At Thanksgiving, we had to put up picnic tables and chairs in the parking lot! But when the tree went through that building, it was fully insured. We’ve taken this as an opportunity that just doesn’t come around all that often for a rural congregation like ours—we’ve got to do something. How might we build a space for overflow when we have community events and children’s ministry, but also for future possible ways the Lord may want us to use the space to invest in our community.”

Pastor Jessica sees her church less as a fellowship for the saints and more as a mission for the lost. The potential good they can do for their neighbors is incredible. A multipurpose building is precisely what the Spirit has been leading Beulah First Church of God to pursue.

View toward site of future multipurpose building.

“We started out with just the influx of kids,” she recounts. “We decided to do a VBS and invited them to come. We started running the van, then we started persistently with the parents. Now three families have begun to come to our church from that. It’s a big blessing.”

Not long ago, the church was assembled for a Bible study during which no children were present. Pastor Jessica directed those gathered to pause and listen; the silence was deafening. She proclaimed, “May we never be in this situation again.” Today they’re learning how to manage and disciple crowds of children—and that’s a good problem to have.

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