As Welcome Ride 2023 concludes, the hope and vision for expanding the Welcome House Community Network (WHCN) grows. The funds raised during the Welcome Ride campaign will be used by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina (CBFNC) to grow our ability to support and empower congregations across our state to engage in ministries of welcome in their communities.
Gifts to the campaign will enable CBFNC to help churches like First Baptist Church, Mount Olive that has a bold vision to convert abandoned homes near the church into affordable housing. FBC Mount Olive, along with CBFNC’s Welcome Network and Together for Hope, have a big vision for the future in this community. The task is large but the impact it would make is greater.
During the summer of 2023, Anna and LaCount Anderson and Marc and Kim Wyatt, missionaries with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Global Missions, began discussing a partnership with First Baptist Church in Mount Olive to address the lack of affordable housing in the area.
The congregation’s love for and dedication to its community can been seen through the tireless efforts to love its neighbors. From food distribution, to establishing an art studio suite in the church’s educational building, to working towards renovating homes to provide decent housing options, their efforts are indeed inspirational.
FBC Mount Olive, along with CBFNC’s Welcome Network and Together for Hope, have a big vision for the future in this community. The task is large but the impact it would make is greater.
There are about 100 abandoned homes in a one-mile radius of the church. The poverty rate in the community is over 25% for families and over 50% for children. FBC Mount Olive has a vision to turn some of those abandoned homes into affordable housing. The idea is to form a collaboration between the church, Together For Hope, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, CBF North Carolina, the Eastern North Carolina Poverty Network, WARM NC and possibly others that will make a transformational impact on the town of Mount Olive and serve as a model for others.
“I’m super excited about the people that God is bringing to the table to shine a light on the huge problem of the lack of affordable housing,” said Dennis Atwood, pastor at First Baptist, Mount Olive.
“The dream is for this to be an extension of CBFNC’s Welcome Network,” said Marc Wyatt, CBF field personnel and Welcome House Raleigh co-founder.
In 2021, under the leadership of Dr. Jason Coker, Together for Hope president, FBC Mount Olive hosted a community Asset Based Community Development event. This was the beginning of the process of expanding the church’s outreach work in the community. The plan is to have a follow-up, face-to-face meeting with community stakeholders in 2024. CBFNC will be there as we discover how we might be able to express our love for the community and how churches might be able to join in making the dream in Mount Olive a reality.
Want to get involved and help grow this ministry?
Make a donation to support Welcome Ride & the WHCN.
- Give online here
- Give by mail to: CBFNC, 2640 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27106.