“Our congregation and community are multicultural here in South Trenton,” explains Rev. C. Nadir Powell, who has served the 213-year-old church for nearly three years. “People in our community speak 13 languages and have Nigerian, Liberian, Latino, Burmese and Caucasian backgrounds.”
“Most of the people who live in our community have low incomes,” Rev. Powell says. “That’s why it is so important for the church to receive funding so we can be a blessing to our neighbors. We are so grateful for the $500 Matthew 25 Grant.” The grant has primarily been used to purchase food for students, volunteers and educators in connection with the training outreach.
“My vision has been to use the grant toward teaching, educating and tutoring of our youth,” Rev. Powell says. “Some of our youth have struggles with English, for example. And so we provide tutors to give learners the necessary tools to become powerful individuals.”
First Baptist also partners with other community organizations to empower the community’s youth, Rev. Powell says.
One such organization is Beyond Expectations, an initiative founded by community parents nearly 20 years ago with the express purpose of supporting youth to develop marketable skills. “Organizations like Beyond Expectations are truly a blessing to us,” Rev. Powell says. “They bring educators in who provide training in such areas as media, digital photography, the arts and youth entrepreneurship. Some have received training in furniture design.” Youth who have received Beyond Expectations training have gone on to attend 25 colleges and universities over the years.
First Baptist Church also offers English as a Second Language classes Saturday mornings.
The Matthew 25 Grant initiative, sponsored by ABCUSA and the Board of General Ministries, is funded by a generous, anonymous donor whose goal is to meet the needs of “housing, feeding, education and health with regard to the less fortunate.” The application process for a Matthew 25 Grant is structured to help small ministries with limited staff time. For more information on the grant and application process visit www.abc-usa.org/matthew25/