Matthew 5:14 – 16 says “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
The Hahira Community Day committee uses this scripture as both their mission statement and their very reason for existence. The Community Day Group is composed of 10 local churches in the Hahira vicinity. Working together, they hope to meet the community’s physical needs, as well as their spiritual needs.
Back in 2008, Pastor Jay Watkins from Redland Baptist Church began a local Community Day after Redland’s annual mission trip to Mexico was blocked, due to danger from a local drug cartel. They decided if they couldn’t minister to people’s needs in Mexico, they would do it locally, and thus, the first community day was born. Because the economy wasn’t very good back then, Redland decided to offer a fun-filled day of free food, medicine, and wellness exams. Held in Clyattville, they served nearly 4000 people that day.
Fast forward to 2017, where the Hahira Community Day Group has taken Pastor Watkins idea and expanded on it to offer a whole range of services and goods. According to Joy Cowart, member of Hahira First United Methodist Church; “Hahira Community Day is a time for The Church, which is the body of believers of Christ, to come together to serve our community and to meet the needs of our community”. This year, they have plans for a medical tent, a pregnancy support center, job placement services and the Mailbox Club. Also, hot meals will be served at Hahira United Methodist Church, and a bag of free pantry items will be offered to each family at Hahira First Baptist Church. Household supplies, furniture, small appliances, clothing and more will be available for free to those in need.
Together, the Church endeavors to serve the needs of the community. And while they meet the community’s physical needs, they also strive to meet their spiritual needs throughout the course of the day. Whether it’s giving out bibles, praying with individuals, or just lending an ear, the group doesn’t want to lose focus of the central part of this ministry: sharing the good news of the gospel. ‘What we’re really striving towards is to go beyond this event, to build long-term relationships” says Chad Daughtery of Hahira First Baptist Church. They want to maintain relationships with those they meet, so that they can make sure their needs are met, but also to make sure they know they have a Church family who cares for and loves them. As Pastor Mike Wells of NorthBridge Church stated; “any church that doesn’t make the community better, isn’t doing their job.” This group goes above and beyond to help make this community the best it can be.
Community day is open to the public, there are no pre-qualification criteria to enjoy the services or goods offered. All that is required is a brief sign-in upon arrival at either of the locations.
While there are over 100 volunteers from the community, the group is always looking for more people to get involved. If you’d like to become involved, reach out to your own pastor. If your church isn’t participating, urge your pastor to become involved.
Community day will be held on October 21 at Hahira First Baptist Church and Hahira United Methodist Church. For more information, or to volunteer, call Chad Daughtery at 229.561.5572 or send email to email@example.com.