Saturday, February 13, 2016

Crossroads Celebrates Sweet 16

            Crossroads Community Church is hosting a “Sweet 16 Celebration” on Feb. 21, to celebrate 16 years of ministry in Stokesdale. The service will include special music, and stories of the church’s work in Stokesdale and around the world. Guest speakers will encourage the congregation as they look to the future. Dinner will be served to all in attendance.

            On a Sunday morning in February 2000, Crossroads Community Church held its first public worship service in the old Stokesdale Elementary School cafeteria. Today the church has found its mission in “leading people into life-changing community in Christ,” according to founding pastor David Bailey. “We encourage people to mature from the inside-out,” he says. “That means you Center on God, Connect in relationship, then Change your world.”

            Since 2000, Crossroads has met in 10 different locations, including living rooms, the school gym, a nursing home and even a garage. The church now meets in an up-fitted warehouse on B & G Court in Stokesdale. “We never wanted to own real estate,” says Bailey, “but there is no assembly space available to rent in Stokesdale.”

            In those 16 years, the church has ministered to the community in many ways. Church members have coached sports teams, worked with scouts and participated in Good Samaritan Ministries events. For several years the church has provided refreshments and fun activities for families at the Stokesdale Holiday Parade. Members also serve as the parade announcers as the procession passes the Stokesdale Fire Station. “This is our church’s way of blessing the community every Christmas,” says Keith Street, one of the parade announcers. “We like to show people God’s love.”

            Crossroads has also reached out overseas with God’s love. In 2009 the church sent a team to Spanish Town, Jamaica to help missionaries with church building construction. In 2015 the church partnered with The Mighty River Project, sending a 12-person team to Uganda. The team met with Ugandan artisans who work for TMRP, which imports their crafts for sale in the U.S. Crossroads continues to work with this ministry which helps keep Ugandan families intact, through employment and providing health care.

Volunteers from Crossroads served at the Operation Christmas
Child Processing Center in Boone, NC in Dec. 2015.
            Every fall the church packs shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. Last year the church sent 190 boxes, some of which were delivered to Belize. The church also sent a team of  23 to the Samaritan’s Purse processing center in Boone to prepare boxes for shipment overseas. “Samaritan’s Purse makes it incredibly easy to help bless children all around the world through Operation Christmas Child,” says Crossroads’ OCC leader Amy Strawn. “Crossroads pours out love to children around the world every year by such a simple act as packing a shoebox.”

            Locally, church members also work with Hannah’s Haven, a Teen Challenge substance abuse recovery program, and Jobs for Life, a course helping unemployed people find their way to gainful employment. The church partnered with the Kids’ Clubhouse after school program in Kernersville last summer, to bring a missions-themed Bible School program to dozens of energetic children.

            The past 16 years serve as a foundation for future ministry, says Bailey. One of the church’s home Bible study groups plans to begin ministering to refugees in 2016, working with The 514 Initiative in Greensboro.

            “It is such a joy to serve in this great community,” Bailey says. “We just need to celebrate!”