MARTINSBURG — The Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center on Monday received a large donation of items collected over the course of a month from congregation members at Maplewood Baptist Church.
Carol Williams, pastor of Maplewood Baptist Church for 27 years, said the church was very “mission-oriented”.
“We are here to serve our community in the name of the Lord,” Williams said. “We just want to do a good job. We are happy to be able to meet a need.
He said the idea to donate the collected items to EPEC came from wanting to do something to meet local needs after the church came together to provide needed food for children in Africa in a previous effort.
“Last year we focused on an orphanage in Malawi, Africa,” Williams said. “I went there and I went to the orphanage. They have about 200 orphans in the orphanage there. I presented the idea to our church. We support them monthly. I presented to the church that these children would get nothing for Christmas unless we did something.
Receiving no government assistance, the orphanage depends only on donations received. Williams then challenged the congregation to work together to send treats to children at the orphanage. They were able to raise enough money to send treats multiple times. In the future, the concern that these same children had no meat was brought to the attention of the congregation. As a result, the church was able to buy six cows to supply them with meat.
” That’s where it all began. I got to thinking, ‘We did this for the kids in Africa. I would also like to do something local,” Williams said.
He said that within a month, donations were collected and everything was delivered to EPEC on Monday.
“I’m grateful we were able to do that,” Williams said. “As a pastor, I am also concerned about physical needs, as well as spiritual needs. It was an opportunity to be able to take care of these women. They’re in an unfortunate situation, and I can’t imagine what they’re going through.
He said he was proud of the church for doing this.
“A lot of people got involved, and it was a great response,” Williams said. “We are small, medium in size, as far as our congregation goes, but our people certainly have big hearts to give. They’ve proven that over the years with missions, and then we’ve targeted a few things recently. They responded very well to that. It is a very loving church, a benevolent and generous church.