Bible study center, women's shelter first components of Lynwood Baptist Church's Greater Things Vision

Monday, August 23, 2010

A group from Lynwood Baptist Church in Cape Girardeau, including its senior pastor the Rev. Mark Anderson, has a big vision on how they want to minister to the community.

In addition to giving the community a center for Bible study, Anderson said he hopes the church will be opening a women's shelter in the next year or year and a half. He's planning for a children's and men's shelter and possibly a clinic to follow as part of its Greater Things Vision.

"There's a lot of good ministry going on in Cape to help those who are in need, but we're under the conviction that this is what our church should do at this time," Anderson said. "This is our way of contributing to meet the needs of the community."

The shelters would be for individuals in transition who are dealing with various needs in their life and who need a place to stay and who are seeking counseling.

They could begin living a stable lifestyle at Lynwood, Anderson said, but with a Christ-centered approach.

"This is not a social agency, it is very intentional with a spiritual emphasis," he said. "We have requests all the time here at our church for transitional housing."

Anderson anticipates each shelter being a 16-bed unit.

"We don't anticipate this being long-term housing. It's short term and, on average, it's going to be four to six months that somebody might stay here until we can help them find a place," Anderson said.

Construction details, however, are still pending as the committee handling the Greater Things Vision is still setting up legal and financial components of the process. They're also working to set up a their 501c3 status.

"And in the near future we'll be hiring an architect to help us with design and cost of the first facility. Then we will look at raising money for that," Anderson said.

The group's hope is that they'll be able to build the facility "debt free" and without using church operational funds. Anderson said money will be raised from within the congregation and through grants and sources outside the church.

Members of Lynwood who have experience in working with people in recovery or abuse victims and as counselors are excited for the opportunity to use their experience through the Greater Things Vision.

Another component of Lynwood's Greater Things Vision includes the Midwest Center for Spiritual Transformation, set to begin Sept. 19. The center will be a place for Christians who are seeking a deeper relationship with God, knowledge of the Bible and what the scripture can teach.

The center will offer a total of eight courses that can be completed in three years, Anderson said.

Additionally, beginning in January, Lynwood hopes to be partnered with an accredited Christian university that will offer an associate degree to those who complete the courses.

Anderson said because of pending negotiations with the university, he couldn't release its name.

ehevern@semissourian.com

388-3635

Pertinent Address:

2935 Lynwood Hills Drive, Cape Girardeau, MO

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