Eighteen organizations received grants for the following projects:
- American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky — discipleship video and study materials for use in American Baptist churches of that region;
- American Baptist Historical Society, Atlanta, Ga. — Judson200 website featuring digital archival materials and discipleship materials for Burmese congregations;
- Chin Baptist Mission Church, Silver Spring, Md. — documentary film about the Burmese Diaspora and its impact on American Baptist churches
- Church in the Acres, Springfield, Mass — Art Pulse program offering art classes, creative worship and Bible study in a context of poverty, addiction and violence;
- Emmanuel Baptist Church, Ridgewood, N.J. — Pathways in Art program for young adults with autism spectrum disorders;
- First Baptist Church, Ardmore, Pa. — Peace Café model expansion to five American Baptist churches that will combat racial and social injustice in the Philadelphia area;
- First Baptist Church of Stilwell, Kan. — Harvest for the Hungry and Harvest for Haiti garden serving a diverse population and enabling members to be active in mission and evangelism;
- First Baptist Church, Ypsilanti, Mich. — RETOOL training for church leaders to adapt to a changing context;
- First United Church of Fulton, N.Y. — development of neighborhood center for older adults, children and their families, and individuals with special needs;
- Georgia Avenue Community Ministry Inc., Atlanta — food cooperative expansion offering nutrition education, leadership training and intentional community primarily to households headed by women;
- The Hope Center at Pullen, Raleigh, N.C. — job-readiness program serving the chronically homeless and including a mentor program;
- Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry, Bayamon — optometric screenings, creative activities and workshops for children in poverty;
- McGee Avenue Baptist Church, Berkeley, Calif. — Fathers Acting in Togetherness and Hope partnership with American Baptist Seminary of the West to strengthen involvement of African-American fathers in family and community;
- Meeting House Church, Manchester, Maine — lay prison chaplaincy for offenders and their families;
- New Hope Baptist Church, Cincinnati, Ohio — Sharing Hope Café and Youth Center offering mentoring, discipleship, leadership and social entrepreneurship activities;
- Parsells Avenue Community Church, Rochester, N.Y. — Good Shepherd Ministry after-school program for African-American and Hispanic students;
- Rainbow Acres, Camp Verde, Ariz. — day rancher program expansion and equipping of local churches to better serve individuals with disabilities; and
- Wisconsin Avenue Baptist Church, Washington, D.C. — mission work in D.C. with six to eight churches focused on discipleship and missional church formation.
Ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, each grant is intended to enhance the ministry outreach of an American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) congregation or ABCUSA-related organization. Each ministry is grounded in study, community action and theological reflection methodology. The grant theme centers on Luke 10:1-9, in which Jesus sent his followers two by two into communities to heal the sick and announce the nearness of God’s reign; the grant process was designed to enable communities of radical discipleship that embody the caring heart, serving hands, going feet and prophetic voice of Jesus.
The Palmer Grant bears the name of two lifelong Baptists—Virginia and Gordon Palmer Jr. Virginia came from what she termed a “very poor family.” A speech pathologist and educator, she helped to develop the speech and hearing clinic at Temple University, Philadelphia. Gordon, an electrical engineer and a founder of an electronics component company, was a son of Gordon Palmer Sr., an American Baptist pastor who later served as president of what is now known as Palmer Theological Seminary, Wynnewood, Pa.
For information about applying for next year’s Palmer Grant, visit www.abcofgiving.com after Sept. 27, 2011, or contact Catherine Wohltmann, grant administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-768-2204.
ABHMS—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.