Churches have had an especially difficult time navigating their way through the COVID-19 pandemic, with fears of transmitting the disease keeping many ministries from being able to interact with the very people that they exist to help.
Things have started to improve in recent weeks, however, with churches once again being able to open their doors and welcome members of their congregations back inside for services. These services are still limited in many ways, with social distancing and the wearing of masks required at most locations, but still, it is a big improvement compared to where we were not that long ago.
Central Baptist Church of Corbin is among those houses of worship in our area currently tasked with figuring out the best ways to bring people back together safely. They have offered in-person services on Sunday mornings for the past several weeks, and now they are excited to announce the re-opening of two very important ministries – the Matthew Ministry and the Manger Ministry.
Colleen Rossi is the Director of Central’s Manger Ministry, which provides children in need with items such as diapers, wipes and clothes.
“We have sizes from 4T all the way down to infants,” said Rossi. “If someone is expecting a baby, we have newborn packages that we can give out one month before the birth that typically include things like blankets, lotions and bottles. We also try to find out if the guardians of the children have any specific prayer needs, and then we will minister to them in any way that we can.”
The Manger Ministry building is located in between Main Street and Kentucky Avenue in downtown Corbin, directly across the street from Central Baptist Church. They hope to be open from 10:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Tuesday of each week, and more information can be found by searching for them on Facebook.
“I feel really, really good,” Rossi said about getting things back up and running again. “I think that it could be better than it’s ever been. I think people are going to see that the church still loves them, and we still want to help them.”
As for Central’s Matthew Ministry, which is located on the other side of the church at the corner of Fourth and Poplar Streets, Director Cheryl Robinson said, “We got our name from the Book of Matthew, which says, ‘I was naked, and you clothed me.’ Everything that we have has been donated to us, and we just find people in need to give it to. We’re doing exactly what God has asked of us.”
The Matthew Ministry has helped many people over the years, including those who are homeless, or who have recently lost their homes to tragedies such as fires or natural disasters. They will accept items of all kinds, but they cannot currently take large pieces of furniture due to a lack of storage space. Robinson said there will be a specific need in the coming weeks for gently used children’s clothing, as well as toys that are still in good working condition.
“We were so behind on sorting through donations, so we’ve been working a lot on cleaning up the building,” Robinson said when asked what she and the other ministry volunteers have been doing during the recent coronavirus-related shutdown. “We’ve worked every week, changing things around and getting ready for the new season.”
This will make 21 years that Robinson has volunteered with the Matthew Ministry. As for how she feels about getting back to the business of handing items out to those in need, she said, “I’m excited about it. It’s not felt right since ever since we had to close down, because I know that people are still in need. We’ll be using plenty of hand sanitizer, and we’ll be wearing masks, so if anyone is in need of something, come by to see if we might have it.”
Robinson said that, in addition to helping people find items that they could use, Matthew Ministry volunteers are also happy to pray with visitors if need be.
For more information on either the Manger Ministry or the Matthew Ministry, contact Central Baptist Church of Corbin at 606-528-6650, or look them up online at www.gocentral.org.