For the past few years, those in need in our local community have benefitted greatly from the efforts of the volunteers at First Baptist Church of Corbin’s White Flag Ministry.
Alex Lockridge was on hand for the early days of the ministry, and now he is returning in a leadership role as FBC Corbin’s newest lead pastor.
“This is a cold-weather ministry, with the main focus being to make sure that everyone is able to survive the night,” Lockridge explained. “The reason that we call it ‘white flag’ is because we are simply surrendering to the cold conditions, and we’re just doing what we can to provide people with a place to get out of it.”
“The weather and the elements are beyond our control,” Lockridge continued. “But with the resources in our community, I can’t stomach the idea of people having to be outside alone. We want to provide a meal, a place to stay, and we want to let people know that their local community cares about them. By doing so, the white flag becomes a beacon of hope.”
For those who may be hearing about the White Flag Ministry for the first time, the building itself is located on Roy Kidd Ave. near downtown Corbin. Anytime the temperature drops to 29 degrees or below, a white flag will be posted on the front of the building, signaling to those who need food and warmth that it can be found inside.
Anyone coming to the White Flag building needing a place to stay for the night will be set up with a room at the Knights Inn motel off of I-75 exit 29 in North Corbin. “Normally, we would transport people to the motel ourselves,” Lockridge said. “But due to COVID-19 we are not going to be able to do that. So, as of now, people will need to find their own transportation.”
Lockridge added that those receiving a room at Knights Inn will receive their meal at the motel.
The target date to re-open White Flag Ministry is currently November 16. If temperatures drop to 29 or below before that date, Lockridge said volunteers will do their absolute best to accommodate people, but nothing can be guaranteed until at least mid-November.
Lockridge said that it has been tremendous to see how the ministry has grown since its inception. Last year, volunteers served over 350 people, including 70 children. In all, 1,500 rooms were provided, as well as 3,600 meals.
“The ministry is growing every single year,” Lockridge said. “This year, with COVID, we anticipate the need to be even greater. We are having to implement some new safety protocols, so we definitely need the community to respond again like they have in the past.”
While White Flag is still technically a First Baptist Church ministry, Lockridge urged that it has actually grown into something much more. “We want to emphasize to the church, and to the community as a whole, that this is no longer just an FBC ministry,” he said. “It truly is a Corbin community ministry.”
Anyone who would like to get more information about how to volunteer at the White Flag Ministry this winter is welcome to attend an online Zoom meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 28. The link can be accessed via the White Flag Ministry Facebook page.
Also, anyone who would like to make a monetary donation to the ministry can do so by visiting www.CorbinFBC.org/WhiteFlag.