GRETHEL – In today’s communities, churches are doing more activities and taking more trips in an effort to attract the youth to attend their services. Clergyman are aware that the future of the church lies in the hands of the young people in their congregation. Established by a young group of missionaries from New York, Grethel Baptist is a small Baptist Church located on Branhams Creek.
On Sunday, Pastor Stephen Clark and his wife Reta, a case manager for Mountain Comprehensive Care Center, held Slip ‘N Slide Kickball for the church’s roughly 15 children who attend regularly along with any other children in the area who wanted to participate.
“We love going to church. Reta and Stephen teach the word of God where it is easy to understand,” said Shilah Newsome, a sixth-grader at John M. Stumbo. “I enjoy reading the bible and it makes me feel better about myself, and my life.”
Along with the Slip ‘N Slide game race, other races were played along with water tag. Children enjoyed getting drenched and playing in the warm weather.
“I really enjoy the stories they tell at church, they make me want to be a better person,” said AJ Saddler, a fourth-grader from Grethel. “Slip ‘N Slide Kickball was great.”
The church is growing faster than it has ever before, thanks to the focus on the community children. Parents often send their children to church as a means to get rid of them for a few hours and some, hopefully most send them to learn about Jesus Christ.
“We hope to positively impact the youth in our community as they are the next generation. Our church has a history of being a light in the community and that is something we are striving to continue,” said Stephen Clark, pastor.
April 23 youth from Grethel Baptist Church spent the weekend at Camp Evangel in Pounding Mill, Virginia. Just another example of how the church is working to bring the gospel to the children in their Grethel community.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.