By Sharon Mager
NEW CASTLE, Del.—Solid Rock Baptist Church, New Castle, is fully committed to ministering to those around them who are in need of a helping hand. Pastor Wendell Hall said there are many communities around the church that are impoverished. That includes homeless families, some with many children, receiving “temporary” shelter in hotel and motel rooms year round. During the school year, buses pick students up from their motel “homes.”
The church provides quarterly spaghetti meals for the residents year round and weekly meals during the school year. Solid Rock partners with local schools to pick up extra lunch food on Fridays and take it to the hotels.
“The kids love it and the parents appreciate it,” Hall said.
Church members also provide food as needed on a regular basis.
“We try in small ways to give some hope and comfort to help uplift those burdens,” Hall said.
Church members also help the children at the local inns prepare for school each year. Before classes begin next month, the church will partner with a local bus company to transport students from the hotels to the church where they’ll receive free “back-to-school” haircuts.
The church also helps local students in New Castle through the church’s basketball outreach. Solid Rock rents a local gym and draws about 50 youth and young adult men.
“We always have a ‘word of the day.’ We share Christ with them. Some have never heard it. Most are from single parent homes,”Hall said.
In addition to sharing the Gospel, the church takes students to the University of Delaware for visits. Hall said they want to give the young men an opportunity to get familiar with the educational process and give them a glimpse of a potential collegiate future.
Church members also help those struggling to find jobs, making calls, asking local businesses to give the job seekers an opportunity. Hall said the church wants to help break the cycles of joblessness and often, addiction.
Last Christmas, the church partnered with Baptist Family & Children’s Services in hosting a Good Samaritan Christmas store, allowing over 100 needy families an opportunity to “shop” for two gifts per child for just a $1 donation or a canned good. This allows the families to shop with dignity.
Solid Rock is small, with just 35 regular attenders, but members have a strong desire to touch their community and make a lasting impact. A nearby local Catholic church distributes clothing. Hall said they do a great job and have the space. Hall says there is a tremendous potential for other churches to step forward and help.
“We’re small but we want to do whatever we can. We can’t do it alone,” Hall said.