By Hamil R. Harris, April 12, 2013
Eight decades after Bishop Smallwood E. Williams pitched a tent to save souls at New York and New Jersey avenues NW in the District, the Bible Way Church can still be found at the bustling crossroads, a testimony to the staying power of faith.
And after overcoming segregation, persecution for its Pentecostal faith and an attempt by the federal government to buy the sanctuary to build an exit ramp from Interstate 395, Bible Way has a bright future as well as a proud past, the 75-year-old daughter of the church’s founder said.
“Dad never was just about addressing spiritual needs; it was always about addressing a whole range of needs,” said Yvonne Williams, who chairs the trustee board of the church.
In the 1970s, Bible Way was on the cutting edge of providing services to the community, including a 183-unit affordable-housing complex known as the Golden Rule and an adjacent grocery store.The complex, financed in part by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was open to District residents who met Section 8 affordable-housing requirements.
#OMG churches are trending
COLUMBIA (WACH) — First Baptist Church of Columbia’s television broadcast is seen my thousands across the Palmetto State but their reach doesn’t stop here.
Their just one of the many churches using Twitter and Facebook as tools to reach the masses.
“We’ve had conversations with people on our Twitter and Facebook page from Brazil, Europe. We’ve connected with lots of different people and we love talking to them about Christ,” says Janine Mikell, First Baptist Church.
Janine Mikell is the churches Director of New and Social Media. She was recently hired to help handle the churches growing following online.
She says their Twitter page gives them so many different opportunities to minister to a hurting community.
“We also tweet about songs, lyrics or just people getting baptized. We try to take screenshots and upload those to Facebook, Twitter so people can see something rather than just read it,” says Mikell.
D’nar Young manages the churches youth twitter page.
“In service if I hear Pastor Jackson highlight a specific topic, I’ll shoot it up on the page and we’ll get various amounts of retweets, replies, comments and just dialogue back and forth with the youth,” says D’Nar Young, Bibleway Church.
But even with churches establishing themselves on the social media stage some worry about the disadvantages.
“We have experienced the sight drop in attendance due to having our services air live over the internet,” says Andrea McCoy, BibleWay Church.
And it doesn’t stop there the economy is also playing a factor.
“Especially with the cost of gas alot of people are now turning to the internet to watch the services live,” says McCoy.
Despite the choices by some McCoy says Bibleway church leaders are still utilizing the online platform because it helps to bring the theme for the church alive this year which is, outreach.
“In terms of spreading the gospel each week we post a teaser to our Facebook page as well as our Twitter page,” says McCoy.
As for Janine and First Baptist..
“We were designed to need fellowship. I think that nothing can replace being here on Sunday mornings,” says Janine Mikell.
Jannie R. Jackson Women’s Center Receives $5,000 Grant from the UPS Foundation
Nov 30, 2011
COLUMBIA, SC – November 30, 2011 – The Jannie R. Jackson Women’s Center located at 2527 Atlas Road received a $5,000 grant from The UPS Foundation, the charitable arm of UPS (NYSE:UPS). This grant award supports efforts to build capacity and develop effective organizational and fiscal policies at the Women’s Center. The UPS Foundation has partnered with the Jannie R. Jackson Women’s Center to increase needed services to socially and economically disadvantaged women and girls in South Carolina.
The Jannie R. Jackson Women’s Center was founded by Mrs. Willie Mae Jackson in 2006 in honor of Jannie Ruth Jackson, the wife of Bishop Andrew Charles Jackson (deceased). The Center serves women and girls at-risk for low educational achievement, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence and homelessness. The Center offers a safe environment and enriched programs. Since its inception, the Jannie R. Jackson Women’s Center has served over 7,400 clients and trained over 400 volunteers and mentors. Our decision to expand our capacity using technology will make us more effective at assisting our clients with the successful transition to independence through educational enhancement, supportive services, and personalized recovery services.
Mrs. Willie Mae Jackson noted, “We are very excited that The UPS Foundation is the first organization to fund our programs and to recognize teenage mothers, women at-risk for homelessness and domestic violence, and women and girls seeking long-term financial stability as a worthy cause.”
Established in 1951 and based in Atlanta, Georgia, The UPS Foundation identifies specific areas where its backing clearly impacts social issues. In support of this strategic approach, The UPS Foundation has identified the following focus areas for giving: nonprofit effectiveness, economic and global literacy, encouraging diversity, community safety and environmental sustainability.
In 2010, The UPS Foundation distributed more than $44.6 million worldwide through grants that benefit organizations or programs such as the Jannie R. Jackson Women’s Center.
“The UPS Foundation is committed to funding impactful programs that make a meaningful difference in our communities – so we are proud to support the Jannie R. Jackson Women’s Center’s efforts to assist in the healing of women and girls and mending families,” said Ken Sternad, president of The UPS Foundation.
With new homes nearly full, focus shifts to mall
Developer being sought for Shoppes at Congaree Point
By Clif LeBlanc – firstname.lastname@example.org
Bit by bit, a plan for a new community of homes and shops off Atlas and Bluff roads in south Columbia is coming to fruition.
Bibleway Baptist Church’s plan to develop 106 acres has resulted in the construction of 21 single-family homes, 20 of which have been sold and are occupied, and the approval by the city of Columbia of some early plans for a 134,000-square-foot strip mall.
“We’re very fortunate to be able to move 20 in this market,” said Bill Lloyd of the Midlands Community Development Corp. “We’re real proud of that.” The corporation was set up through the church to provide services to the community. In 2007, the organization got into residential and commercial construction efforts.
Midlands Church Gives Back to Struggling Neighborhood
Columbia, SC (WLTX)
The Young Adult Ministry at Bible Way Church reached out to the Starlite Community by firing up the grill for a free cookout Sunday.
“We want to set an example, as young adults, to try to show everyone that it’s important to give back and do things for the community,” said Brian Myers.
Myers said the goal is to give young adults someone to look up to.
“It’s important for us so we can set an example for them. So they can see us doing positive things. So we can give them an incentive to give back as well,” said Myers.
Dianna Murphy lives in the Starlite Community in East Columbia. She said the event inspired unity.
“I think it’s a great thing they are doing because it gives back to our community and lets them know that they are not forgotten, and it really makes us not have a negative look on our community but a positive one. And I hope this outpouring of love shows people that we are not forgotten and we are one family,” said Murphy.
Others, like James Sims, have seen the neighborhood change and hope that it can lose its negative image.
“This is a community that needs support because we are not like we used to be, and Bible Way is a good way to do that,” said Sims.
Today, loving thy neighbor makes a difference.
“Only thing they know is that it’s drug infested but it’s a positive thing that we do have positive people that are coming to this area, and they have someone to look up to,” said Murphy.
This event was in collaboration with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and other organizations. The church says this was their first time having a cookout in the Starlite Community and will make it an annual event.
Bible Way Church Gives $22,000 in Scholarships
Columbia, SC (WLTX)
Bible Way Church of Atlas Road awarded 22 students with college scholarships.
The message written on the walls at Bible Way Church of Atlas Road is “A Time To Believe” and for single mother and recent graduate Brishauna Chew-Robisnon the church has strengthen her faith and eased her way to a higher education.
“It means a lot to me being a single parent its really hard to pay for stuff financially,” says Chew-Robinson.
The church has awarded scholarships to college bound students like Chew-Robinson since 1999 and Justin Williams with the programs committee say it’s needed now more than ever.
“This is cash in hand that the students can use to pay their tuition to pay for book or whatever expense that they have that will keep them from borrowing from the private or public sector,” says Justin Williams.
Chew-Robinson graduated in May from White Knoll High School and says this scholarship was truly a blessing.
“In the fall I will be attending the University of Phoenix,” says Chew-Robinson.
After college she plans to start her own accounting firm.
“With the major that I am going to be in, accounting I am going to need a lot of books so that thousand dollars straight for books will be a great help.”
Williams says they have awarded over $130,000 worth of scholarships since the program started.
“Pell grants as well as subsidized student loans are going to be harder to come by so this one thousand dollar scholarship will help students with books, help them with school supplies and even go towards their tuition”, said Justin Williams.
Chew-Robinson says she is thankful that her church believes in her future.
“It makes me feel special that I go to a church that is willing to help other people and not just themselves,” said Chew-Robinson.
Her Excellency Madame Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, visits Bible Way