Baptist Insurance grants support evangelism and in 2019 we were pleased to contribute to Kathryn Alvis’ salary costs as Team Leader of Glebe Farm Baptist Church in outer East Birmingham.
Glebe Farm was a thriving Baptist congregation until its building was sold 20 years ago. By 2018, the congregation had dwindled to 5 members meeting in their homes. As a teenager, Kathryn had been a strong part of the Glebe Farm Baptist family and kept her love for it after she moved away from the area as an adult.
Some years later, after completing mission training in Gambia, Kathryn felt a deep calling to return to Glebe Farm and, following a ‘church planting’ model, she set out to support what remained of her small and beloved Baptist congregation and reignite its mission and role in the community.
The Baptist Insurance grant enabled Kathryn to lead the church in an exploration of itself and how it could grow and develop mission within the wider community.
One of the first developments was to move the Sunday services, Messy Church, and the home of the congregation into the neighbourhood library - a move that was instrumental in saving the library from closure and increasing its potential as a community site. Kathryn developed strong ministry partnerships with other Baptist churches, built networks with other denominations and local residents’ associations, and the church has maintained an active presence on local streets and at community events.
Reflecting on how far this small church has come since 2018, Kathryn said: “We’ve spent 3 years exploring ourselves as a church - more deeply than we might have, due to the pandemic. The next few years is about firming up these beginnings, consolidating our foundation and our understanding of who we are, and then pursuing our mission as an evangelising church with purpose and faith.”
“Someone asked me how we could replicate what we do here. My reply was simple - You pray! Pray every day for your church members, pray every day for your neighbourhood, pray every day for God’s kingdom come … and then go out and take your part in the life of your neighbourhood.”