By Cara Beth Lewis
Bladen Baptist Association is a resource for 41 churches, 39 of which are in Bladen County. Each church involved chose to be a part of BBA. The association participates in and plans mission trips and community service projects, some in Bladen County and some further from home.
One big mission of Bladen Baptist Association takes place in Mallory, West Virginia, at Big Springs Church, a partner of BBA. Participants collect, pack, and deliver backpacks filled with scarves, gloves, socks, toiletry items, age-specific toys, pop-top canned food items, and a Bible. Then, they make a trip to WV to distribute the backpacks.
According to Pastor David Foster, Bladen Baptist Association has conducted the Mallory, WV mission for three years now. In 2019, 500 backpacks were collected. They shared 100 of them with Red Springs Mission Camp and took the remainder to Mallory. About 2020, Foster stated, “Last year, we collected 250 backpacks, and a team made up from five of our churches traveled to Mallory to give them out to the children. God truly has blessed this ministry.”
Bladen Baptist Association leads missions here in Bladen County, too. According to Foster, the building of ramps is a constant need. The Bladen Baptist Association often partners with the Bladen Division on Aging to provide ramps for the senior citizens in need of assistance in getting in and out of their homes. Foster added, “The “builders” are all volunteers. They give up their time to help in this way. It is a great time of fellowship and ministry.”
When asked what future missions are planned, Foster answered, “We are going back to Mallory. We are in the process of determining the best days to travel. The trip will be sometime in the first two weeks of December. Our goal this year is to take 250 backpacks and the gospel message to the children and families in West Virginia. If anyone is interested in knowing more about his mission opportunity, please give Bladen Baptist Resource Center a call at 910.862.3496.”