Something new at Durham’s Union Baptist Church: drive-thru prayer.
“We just wanted to make it another way of reaching out,” says Pastor Kenneth Hammond, “to be able to minister not only to people who are part of our congregation but people who are in the community.”
One evening a month, folks can come to the church for prayer -- without getting out from behind the wheel.
“We have a team of about 20 Prayer Partners,” Dr. Hammond told me. “All you have to do it just pull in -- you don't have to get out of your car. If you have more than one person in the car -- sometimes we’ve seen as many as four people in the car -- we'll have a Prayer Partner to be on each side at each of the windows to pray with the individuals. They’ll find out if there are special needs that the individuals have and then pray around those needs. When the prayer is over, people just drive back out.”
Union’s drive-thru prayer ministry, at the corner of Roxboro and Dowd Streets, began in May. Hammond says it’s gone over very well, with 40 to 50% of those coming not even being members of the church. They’ve also seen people coming by on foot and asking for prayer. The church has started doing the drive-thru prayer the first Wednesday of each month, 5:30 to 6:30pm, but there are plans to expand it to once a week.
“It has been very well accepted to date,” Pastor Hammond says. “We know that there are so many people who are busy but they believe in the power and efficacy of prayer. The people see the signs, they drive in and we try to minister to them -- and then they're off.”
North Carolina Central University’s Christian Campus Ministry is celebrating its 50th anniversary in grand style. They’re having a luncheon and fashion show at the Washington Duke Inn on Saturday, June 30th. ABC11’s own Fred Shropshire will emcee the event. Tickets are being sold in advance. You can call the Ministry office at (919) 530-6380 for more information.
Students at the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Vacation Bible School will get a special visitor next week. Raleigh Diocese Bishop Michael Burbidge is scheduled to pay a visit next Wednesday (June 20th) at 10 a.m.
Members of Raleigh’s Southbridge Fellowship are excited about newly announced plans that will finally lead to their own place of worship. The five-year-old church has been meeting at a movie theater. But Southbridge, which began with about 40 people five years ago and is now up to about 800 attendees per Sunday, has just purchased a strategic plot of land right in the heart of the growing Brier Creek area. Pastor Scott Lehr says the hope is to begin holding services in a brand new facility in the spring of 2014.
For some young missionaries from the Triangle, a visit to New York City to share their faith got a little more adventurous than planned. They sprinted into action after a thief – and came face to face with a gun. The New York Times reported the story.