Memphis is one of the 25 largest cities in America, and it is located in Shelby County, whose 900,000 residents make it by far the largest county in the state of Tennessee. The entire 10-county Memphis metropolitan region has a population of over 1.3 million people. Like all large cities, there are a great variety of people and perspectives, presenting the church with many open doors for the gospel and many opportunities to serve those who have needs.
The Great Oaks family meets in the Wolfchase area, one of the major “crossroads” of the Memphis community because of its many shopping and eating locations. We love our community, and we would love for you to help us reach out in Memphis! Here are 5 ways you can get started serving with us:
1. Lebonheur Baskets – Memphis is home to some of the best children’s hospitals in America, bringing families from all over the nation for medical care. Many of them are stuck in a waiting room all day, so Great Oaks provides free snack baskets every week to all the Lebonheur waiting rooms. Lebonheur named Great Oaks their Volunteer Group of the Year in 2012 for this simple gesture of encouragement. Can you help us organize and deliver our weekly Lebonheur Baskets?
If you are interested in helping with Lebonheur Baskets, contact Bryan Gore, who leads this ministry.
2. Kate Bond Elementary – Providing better education for Memphis area children has become a community priority, and Great Oaks is trying to help encourage a better future for the next generation by “adopting” Kate Bond Elementary School. Kate Bond is only a few miles from our building, and is one of the area’s largest elementary schools. Can you read to a class weekly or bi-weekly? Can you help tutor children whenever your schedule allows? Can you help with service projects that encourage teachers and help the school?
If you are interested in helping volunteer at Kate Bond, contact Chris Peak, who helps organize our volunteer efforts there.
3. Prison Ministry – Several of our men lead weekly Bible studies and devotionals in our local prison ministry, building relationships and encouraging faith. This ministry has produced baptisms, life changes, and Christian friendships. Can you help us encourage faith in those who are in prison and want to find a better life path?
If you are interested in helping with prison ministry, contact Michael Williams, who helps lead this ministry and can help get you involved.
4. Spanish-Speaking Ministry – Spanish speakers are a fast-growing group in Memphis, and as a bilingual church family, we have several efforts to especially reach out to those who speak Spanish as a first language. Can you help us with FriendSpeak, helping people practice conversational English while studying through the Gospel of Luke together? Can you help us door-knock for our annual Spanish-speaking gospel meeting? Can you help us encourage Spanish-speaking families at Kate Bond elementary, such as helping teach English?
If you are interested in helping with Spanish-speaking ministry, contact Moises Umana, our Spanish-speaking minister.
5. Food and clothes pantry – We have a food and clothes pantry for those who have immediate needs. We often help families through our contacts with Kate Bond and Spanish-speaking outreach. Can you contribute food or clothes for our pantry? Can you help us keep it organized and ready?
If you are interested in helping with our food and clothes pantry, contact Pam McKay, who helps organize this ministry.
We are constantly exploring new and better ways to help shine God’s light in Memphis. If you have an idea for a an outreach ministry here in our city, please let us know!