FAIRDALE, Ky. (KT) – Instead of waiting for the community to come to them, First Baptist Church Fairdale is meeting the community on their turf. It has become a model ministry that has flourished with connections being made, literally, on every corner.
“We serve the local schools, we feed the teams, we volunteer in the concession stands,” said Pastor Josh Greene. “We have a kitchen team that comes and cooks and a different team that works the food panty where we give out groceries.”
The idea behind Fairdale’s outreach into the community is showing the love of Jesus.
“If a community is a light sitting on a hill, it makes the community better,” Greene said. “If God revives this church, it will revive the community. That’s happening. Lone gone are the days where you just see growth and salvations by just people showing up and inviting people.”
FBC Fairdale is being in the community and meeting needs, including being involved in the local sports community. Greene is the chaplain for Fairdale High School football, basketball and soccer and other church members serve as chaplain for other sports. They feed the 70-member football team every week and interact with students of all backgrounds. They feed the soccer teams and the basketball teams.
“We have never done a mailout or something that tries to get people to come to church,” Greene said. “We just love and serve the community. We just do that, expecting nothing in return, because that’s how Christ was. The result is our church is getting so healthy, vibrant and alive.”
The church intentionally looks for ways to serve the community and that includes a food pantry that’s busting at the seams. They are constructing a standalone building that will run the entire food pantry. Based on Wednesdays, when 150 to 200 cars are on the parking lot, the need is there. They minister to approximately 800 people through the food pantry while partnering with Dare to Care.
Greene’s history with the church dates to 2003 when he became the youth pastor. He became the senior pastor in 2009 and the church has shown significant growth during his tenure. He was only 29 when he accepted the pastorate call.
“Our church is like a full revitalization,” he said. “We were so small and so dying 20 years ago. There was not a whole lot to work with. We didn’t have a kids ministry. Zero kids, zero babies. Two teenage girls in sixth grade were our youth ministry.”
Even though he was young when taking over as senior pastor, the senior adults were more than accepting of him. “The old people that stayed,” he said, “they’re my heroes. They just love me and my wife so well. You hear of so much clashing between church members who have been there 50 years and new young pastors. It’s a story we’ve heard 100 times. That has been the exact opposite of my story. I’m so grateful and humbled.”
Not only are they accepting, but Greene said he can count on them to do whatever he asks. Sometimes it might be to pray, sometimes it might be to serve. “If there is a need anywhere, they’re going to do it,” he said.
A church that works together, stays together, he said. “If a church is healthy it will raise up leaders.”
Fairdale has 10 bi-vocational ministry staff and the giving has by members has been strong, Greene said. Everybody is pulling in the same direction as they try to transform the Fairdale community with the love of Christ. It's not only been good for the community but good for the church.
“Honestly we’re trying to do as much as we can,” Greene said. “We have everybody working and serving the community. We want to help people and get involved in their lives.”