By Sharon Mager
COLLEGE PARK, Md.—Aletheia Church ministers to college students and their families near the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD). Gary Glanville, Mid-Maryland Baptist Association (MMBA) interim director of missions, asked Aletheia Church Pastor Robert Stephens how the churches of MMBA could lend a loving helping hand.
“I told him free food is the way to a college student’s heart,” Stephens said with a chuckle. They discussed the possibilities. Stephens said serving the food on campus can be logistically challenging, so they decided on providing sandwiches at the church after the Oct. 15 Sunday morning worship at Parkdale High School, Riverdale, during UMD’s Family Weekend event.
Stephens said the college students’ visiting parents want to see the church their children are involved in, so this was a way to welcome and reassure them. It was also a great opportunity for students to bring friends to the church, with the invitation for a free lunch afterward.
“Pastor Robert gave an excellence message to an overflow crowd. I would guess maybe a hundred and seventy-five folks were there. Those there that day heard the Word of God,” Glanville said. The members are for the most part college students, and they are very much evangelical. They share their faith and enjoy doing so.
“It was a great outreach for the MMBA and Aletheia. We met people from all over the country. It truly was a joy to do this service, which included purchasing and preparing several hundred sandwiches. We were blessed just being able to serve them and add to their day a good memory and the love of Christ,” Glanville said.
“It has been great getting into the life of our churches this year. This is what associations are and should be doing—making a difference in the lives of our association as well as serving our churches and coming alongside them and sharing our faith,” Glanville said.
Stephens was thankful for the help and fellowship and the lunches. “It served dual purpose of outreach and family ministry,” Stephens said.