From inner-city Dallas to a Central Texas town still recovering from a fertilizer plant explosion last year, Dallas Baptist University students spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day serving people in need.
Thirty-five students worked at Cornerstone Baptist Church, near Fair Park in South Dallas, where they painted bookshelves for Literacy Connexus, a Christian nonprofit organization that helps churches promote literacy.
“This event is very a significant effort that symbolizes the ideals of cooperation and community espoused by Dr. King,” said Andrew Briscoe, director of the Center for Service-Learning at DBU. “No one person made all of this happen, which goes to show that we each need to play a part in identifying and serving the needs of our community.”
Meanwhile, seven DBU students spent the day clearing out damaged drywall, removing debris and tearing down walls of a single mother’s home in West so the house can be rebuilt.
DBU has worked with First Baptist Church of West since a deadly explosion rocked the small town April 17, 2013. In the immediate aftermath of the blast, DBU partnered with Pastor John Crowder and Associate Pastor Phil Immicke to host the church’s youth group for a Disciple Now weekend on the university campus, and a second Disciple Now weekend for the church is scheduled at DBU this spring.
“The relationship that DBU staff and students continue to have with the town of West and First Baptist Church of West is one, I believe, of mutual encouragement,” said Josh Hemby, director of Baptist Student Ministries at DBU. “Whenever we spend time with Pastor Immicke and the students from his youth group, DBU students take away as much from the experience as they are able to give.
“This project was no different. Our team was able to help get a lot of work done remodeling a house for a single mother, and this progress was extremely rewarding for us. However, the larger body of work that First Baptist in West is doing to serve their community and the joy on the faces of students, despite many of their circumstances, makes our continued relationship with the town of West and First Baptist Church so exciting.”
Another group from DBU will return to West for a spring break mission trip in March, just in time to help with the final stages of remodeling a house DBU students started during their winter break.
—With reporting by Kaley Warren at DBU