Southern Baptist Churches Bring Hope Within Baltimore Unrest

By Ryan West

Anger. Violence. Chaos. Such words describe the scene in Baltimore as devastation unfolds before our eyes. As cameras capture the looting and citywide protests, certain angles of the story go unaddressed. In particular, this turmoil has a major impact on the city’s children in a way that many people may not realize even as the National Guard works with police to restore order.

This turmoil has a major impact on the city’s children in a way that many people may not realize.

With nearly 20% of the city’s children living in a “food desert,” the students face enhanced food insecurity following the destruction of Baltimore’s already unstable infrastructure. For many children in the city, their only guaranteed meal each day is received while they are at school.

Yet one can find hope in the midst of these tumultuous riots and their effects. Throughout this ordeal, several Southern Baptist churches have fed thousands of children—exceeding 5,000 total—in the city.

We are working with these churches to minister to the people of Baltimore and ask that you pray for these efforts.

The North American Mission Board has confirmed that the following pastors led their churches to bring relief and hope in the midst of these terrible circumstances: Captivate Church  (Tally Wilgis), Freedom Church (Michael Crawford), Gallery Church (Ellis Prince), The Garden Church (Joel Kurz), Jesus Our Redeemer (Brad O’Brien), Streetlite Christian Fellowship (Brian Zimmerman).

We are working with these churches to minister to the people of Baltimore and ask that you pray for these efforts in two particular ways:

• Please pray for the children who are dealing with the trauma of this frightening experience and the effects of ongoing poverty.

• Please pray for these churches and their leaders, that they will be faithful in sharing the gospel and bringing healing to Baltimore’s unrest. For information on their efforts, read this Baptist Press article.

• Please pray that God will awaken people to the hope found in Christ alone and that He will bring gospel unity to this situation.

Also, please consider giving to Global Hunger Relief, which enables these churches to bless their communities in this way.


Published April 29, 2015

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Ryan West

J. Ryan West is the Team Leader of Mercy Ministry and Community Development at the North American Mission Board. He helps churches throughout the United States and Canada establish and conduct gospel-centered mercy and compassion ministries. He and his wife, Danielle, have three children and live in midtown Atlanta, GA.