Ivy Avenue Ministry
IVY AVENUE MINISTRY (A Ministry of First Baptist Church)
Back in Dec. 2011 a group from Crossville First Baptist went over to the Ivy Ave. area to sing Christmas carols, where we were warmly received by many of the families living there. Ivy Ave. Apartments is a Federally-subsidized housing area consisting of 50 apartments in Crossville. A few months later two members from the church felt led to do prayer-walking in the area and were awed by the people God put in their path and the need many there had for a relationship with the Lord. After a few weeks the two, Chris and Karen, met to discuss what we felt the Lord wanted us to do there and Chris felt that we needed to start with the kids. Previously, the Management had been hostile towards any activity we wanted to start there, but new management had come in and was very open to allowing us to meet with the children in the Community Building.
From then on God opened doors. We met with the pastor and others at First Baptist Church and through prayer, the Lord brought the right people with the talent and experience needed to start this ministry. So with the church's blessing, a group of dedicated volunteers started meeting with the kids weekly in the fall of 2012. Since then we have truly seen God do amazing things. When there was a church split, we lost some key people and thought that we might have to stop going, but the Lord provided the people with the gifts that were needed to keep this ministry going, in spite of two volunteers with serious back issues and others with work-related issues that pulled them away for a time.
Fast forward to 2016. We are currently meeting monthly with a few of the faithful kids who started back in 2011 dealing with issues they are faced with in our current culture and what God's word says regarding these issues. All of the kids attending are in church, many also on Wednesday evening at their churches. We again have new management at Ivy, but so far we have been allowed to continue there. There are many new children there and we would like to be able to start a new group of kids but feel that we need to move cautiously right now. There are currently seven volunteers involved with this ministry, three from First Baptist and the others from area churches. One very faithful volunteer from First Baptist recently retired and we will certainly miss her. We consider this ministry as being under the umbrella of First Baptist Church where we have been supported financially and through prayer since the ministry began.