165-year-old Thomasville church finds new mission - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

165-year-old Thomasville church finds new mission

The old parsonage is now the Mission House. (Source: WALB) The old parsonage is now the Mission House. (Source: WALB)
Person finding shelter at church during January's cold temperatures. (Source: WALB) Person finding shelter at church during January's cold temperatures. (Source: WALB)
First Missionary Baptist Church. (Source: WALB) First Missionary Baptist Church. (Source: WALB)
Pastor Jeremy Rich. (Source: WALB) Pastor Jeremy Rich. (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

A Thomasville church's efforts providing temporary shelter during severe weather is now permanent.

In January, when temperatures dipped into dangerous lows, First Missionary Baptist Church in Thomasville opened its doors as a temporary shelter for people seeking warmth.

"We came up with the idea of utilizing our parsonage as a Mission House," said Pastor Jeremy Rich.

Built in 1905, this old building is finding new purpose as permanent emergency shelter.

The second floor will have eight cots, ready for people needing a safe place.

"Whether it is being a shelter in the time of a storm, or a winter freeze or any other personal disaster, we want to continue to open our doors as we have done," said Rich.

Celebrating 165 years in existence, First Missionary's pastor said the congregation has been given an unexpected gift, a direct result from welcoming people in from the deadly cold--friendship.

"We were able to build personal relationships with the brothers and sisters who came. So even now when some members see them in the community, or when I see them in the community, we still remember them by name from the shelter. And, that is what this is about, building relationships that glorify God. It has been the most rewarding and humbling experience that I have participated in," said Rich. 

The Mission House at First Baptist Missionary Church is also home to the "Stork's Nest."

Every third Thursday, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority provides necessary items to young mothers for their children.

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