Back in January, Jon Jamison wrote about the bell that rings at Camp that tells everyone that they are going to change what they are doing. On June 30th we heard that bell at the Center again. We celebrated 18 years of ministry with Jon, Mindy, and Maggie. Then, we prayed for them as God leads them to new opportunities in South Carolina. Changes just keep coming, don’t they?!
One thing hasn’t changed: our commitment to minister here at the Friendship Baptist Center. Beginning July 1, I (John Jakes) began to serve as our Interim Director. Who is John Jakes? I am a long time volunteer and pastor here in central Iowa. I have been serving in Indianola at Calvary Baptist Church for the last 10 years. My family and I have helped out at the Friendship Baptist Center for almost that entire time. It is exciting to see how this community is growing and changing for God. Last year, we saw over a dozen children pray to receive Christ. We are just half-way through the summer and already we have seen five children make that commitment to Jesus. There are two weeks of camp left!
I am excited about what is happening here at the Center over the rest of this summer. We have two camps coming up that are being invested in by returning mission groups. In August we will be seeing folks come for our community breakfasts every Tuesday. We will be encouraging families with back-to-school supplies at our August Saturday supper, and we will be helping the hungry during the food distribution on the third Thursday in August.
We are also gearing up for fall as all of our school-year volunteers get ready to minister through Disciples, Kids Club, ESL and other great ministries. If you’ve been involved in the past, let us know that you want to continue at email@example.com. If you have been waiting to get involved, shoot me a note and we will get you involved!
Change does come. Sometimes it makes us nervous. I was just reading this week from Psalm 139:4-6. David says of God, “Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.” (4) Like David, I am absolutely astounded that God knows it all even before I do or even think it. That gives me confidence. God is in control. I can’t wait to see what He is going to do through His people at the Friendship Baptist Center!
Interim Director, Friendship Baptist Center
Throughout the day, a loud cowbell rings out as an indicator to transition to the next station during summer camp at the Center. Everyone, campers and leaders alike, instinctively move to the next awaiting task. Well, the bell is now ringing for the Center itself!
It’s time to transition.
The Friendship Baptist Center has a long history of more than 30 years of ministry engagement in poverty impacted communities in Des Moines. All of these years have come under the direction and financial support of the Baptist Convention of Iowa and the North American Mission Board. Recent strategy and funding changes have ushered the Center into a new era of ministry and partnership – Thus, the sounding of the bell.
Effective January 1, 2017, the Friendship Baptist Center will be a stand-alone nonprofit entity and will no longer be fully supported by the Baptist Convention of Iowa. BCI will still continue to partner with the Center, but will no longer be the primary “owner” of the ministry. Additionally, the staff of the Center will no longer be employed by the Baptist Convention of Iowa. This means that the Center must generate its own budget for staff, ministry expenses and building and maintenance costs.
A Board of Directors, made up of Iowa Baptists, is already in place and will continue to lead and relate to Center staff. As the work and ministry of the Center moves forward, you will be kept informed of ministry activity as well as being offering opportunities to engage more fully in the work in Des Moines.
Due to these changes, the Center now relies on partners for financial investment like never before in its history. Partnerships with the Baptist Convention of Iowa, Metro Association, churches and individuals have already begun in an effort to ensure a lasting and fruitful impact through the Friendship Baptist Center. If you would consider financially partnering with the Center, on a monthly basis, that would be most appreciated.
Thank you so much for your investment and involvement in this ministry!
Jon and Mindy Jamison
Friendship Baptist Center
1526 MLK Jr. Pkwy
PO Box 41188
Des Moines, IA 50314-1442