“We are really loaded with people who have worked in the educational system,” he said. “They have a huge passion for education.”
Aug. 5 at Mary McLeod Bethune Middle School, Berry and a group of church volunteers hosted a cookout for the 100 school teachers and staff members, cooking and serving food, encouraging educators and sharing literature on the church. The outreach spurred motivational conversations, Berry said.
“I wish more churches did this,” Berry quoted Bethune teachers. “Some said, ‘I want to take this back to my church.’ Everything from that to, ‘You know, I’ve been looking for a church home.’ A couple of people opened up about some personal things, you know, ‘If you all don’t mind, could you pray for me?’”
On July 16, The Favor Church hosted a back-to-school cookout and celebration for area elementary through high school students, featuring hot food, snacks, bounce houses, a DJ, games and giveaways including about 200 backpacks of school supplies. Donations from church members and supporters from six states and Washington D.C. funded the outreach, Berry said.
During the 2022-2023 school year the church will host free weekly tutoring classes at the church in various subject, utilizing retired educator and professionals from applicable careers. Church members will volunteer as literacy coaches or book buddies at the local elementary school to improve literacy, and offer outreaches to teach parents to better equip their children to succeed educationally.
Berry is also teaching youth in the church to see school as a mission field where students can build relationships, share Christ, invite classmates to church, and model Christian behavior that resolves conflicts and discourages bullying.
“School is a mission field where they can interact with their peers and learn how to relate one to another in a way that may not be consistent with how the world teaches,” Berry said. “It’s a great way for them to share Christ with their friends, so it’s an evangelistic opportunity.”
Having launched this past Easter and meeting at no cost on the Greater Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church campus, the church is able to use more resources for outreach.
Churches have opportunities to invest in children’s future and help them succeed, thereby giving them platforms to share the Gospel, Berry said.
“We want the community to know that we are invested in their future, particularly the children,” Berry said. “We’re invested in their families. Secondly, we want to be, obviously, the hands and feet of Christ. We have been blessed and we want to be a blessing.
“That’s where our name (rests). The Favor Church, where we are experiencing the favor of God and we’re sharing the favor of God.”