That calling came to fruition last week, when members of Ridgeview Baptist Church in Church Hill started IMPACT, a weeklong event aimed at serving the community.
“The Lord really placed on my heart (the question of) how we could impact our community, hence the word ‘IMPACT,’ ” said Jesse, associate pastor of families at the church. “We prayed about it and we started talking to several local organizations and went from there.”
Jesse said the week officially began last Sunday night in downtown Kingsport, when church members helped serve meals to the homeless.
Since then, the church has participated in a variety of service projects, including landscaping and helping with the summer program at Carters Valley Elementary School, painting at Church Hill Intermediate School, volunteering with the Church Hill lunchbox program, serving at the food pantry in Church Hill, working with the Church Hill clothes closet, volunteering at the pregnancy center in Rogersville, helping a nearby church with a Bible school and completing roofing and repair projects for people in need.
The church has also hosted some free events, including an autism awareness Q&A on Tuesday, a movie night on Thursday, a cookout on Friday and a children’s water day on Saturday.
”We’ve had a lot going on this week, but it’s been really, really incredible to see so many people come together and show the community love,” Jesse said. “That’s the least we can do with the love of Christ that is shown to us.”
Jesse said the church set a goal to spend 1,000 hours volunteering throughout the week, from Sunday to Saturday. As of Friday, Jesse said members had logged almost 800 hours.
“I’d say we’ve probably had about 100 people from our church volunteer, and maybe even more with people doing some things behind the scenes,” Jesse said. “There’s no telling, really, how many people have been able to benefit from IMPACT.”
The church hopes to assist organizations with their financial needs as well. Throughout the week, Jesse said an IMPACT envelope tree was set up in the foyer of the church, which included envelopes numbered from one through 120.
“If you got the envelope with No. 1 on it, you give $1,” Jesse said. “If you got No. 120, you’d give $120. If you do the math, it comes out to over $5,000 that could be raised.”
Once the church pays for all the expenses it accrued throughout the week, Jesse said the remaining balance will be donated to assist organizations with their future needs.
“It’s just been really amazing to see people come together,” Jesse said. “I just really enjoy serving, and that’s what our goal was.”