By Tim Shoemaker
The youth of the Woodlawn/Roebuck Parkway and now Deerfoot church have been involved in campaign work beginning back in 1986 when a number of our young people traveled to Vicksburg, Mississippi, at the invitation of the West Huntsville church of Christ to help in a campaign they were conducting. This work led, in turn, to the youth here conducting their own campaigns, helping out a number of smaller congregations in our country.
The first of these efforts was really what Bill Brown, the youth minister at that time, called a “boot camp.” This was where the young people stayed at a camp and learned about how to conduct a campaign of door knocking, inviting people to hear the gospel preached and offering Bible studies. I believe that the gospel meeting was held at the church of Christ on Pleasantfield Road in Oakman, Alabama.
The first of the true traveling campaigns done on our own was in 1989 to Hayes, Virginia, where we worked with the Gloucester Church of Christ. The church here at Roebuck had purchased a 24-passenger bus for $36,000 that the youth were able to use. The youth group was invited back to Gloucester for the next year, but they were unable to go owing to a commitment to hold a campaign in Deltona, Florida. The youth would return for two more campaigns in Deltona in 1994 and 1997.
Through the years the youth have traveled to a number of states, conducting campaigns in:
- Thomasville, Georgia
- Roanoke, Virginia
- Douglasville, Georgia
- Chicago, Illinois
- Martinsville, Indiana
- St. Catherine, Ontario, Canada
- Randolph, New Jersey
- Barnwell, South Carolina
- Columbia, Tennessee
- Logan Martin, Alabama
- Fulton, Mississippi
- Amory, Mississippi
This year they will be traveling to Tampa, Florida, to work with the North Tampa Church of Christ from June 16-23.
On these trips, the church pays for the transportation and lodging, while the young people are responsible for paying for all of the non-campaign activities. This would include visits for fun activities such as Disney World in Orlando or the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, or riding on the Maid of the Mist to get a close up view of Niagara Falls.
These trips are important, first of all, because the gospel is being preached; people are being invited to hear great gospel sermons and they are offered the opportunity to study the Bible in their own homes through means of a free Bible Correspondence Course. These campaigns are also important because our young people are given the opportunity to learn by the actual experience of working for God in spreading His word.
All of the work that has been done in the past was due to the money given by Christians here at Roebuck who have given so generously on Mission Sunday. Any such efforts in the future will also be dependent upon how generous we continue to be in giving to support each of these works. May we continue to enjoy God’s blessings and may be always be willing to share those blessings in doing God’s work by giving back to God as He has so generously given to us. Please keep this in mind for our Mission Sunday, May 7, 2017.