St Mary pastor seeking help to establish mission centre
Pastor Ja’Vaughn Taylor is one of those church leaders who believes the Church should contribute to the social and personal development of young people. But, before any significant intervention can be accomplished, there must be resources and facilities outside of the church building, the place of worship.
At Aleppo in St Mary, where Taylor is the pastor at Central Gospel Chapel, there is an abundance of church land, on a section of which he wants to establish a mission centre to also enhance the spiritual growth of his flock. In a series of residential camps, he wants to attend to the needs of young people ages eight to 17 years.
“This vision will provide children, young people and adults with the opportunity to engage in healthy outdoor pursuits which build their self-esteem and challenge them physically. (It will also) provide settings for campers and all stakeholders to appreciate the beauty of the environment and to realise the role they need to play in its preservation,” Pastor Taylor told Family and Religion recently.
He continued, “Not only that, but to provide values-based programming, including life-skills education, offering alternative choices to the negative pressure of violence and abuse present in today’s society. Sometimes our troubled youths need a breath of fresh air and good biblical principles.”
Individual and group interventions will be provided, and the space is expected to be a place where people can have a “closer connection to God”.
The air at Aleppo is indeed fresh, and the church property is far from the madding crowd. Thus, on the five acres, Taylor wants to establish a dormitory consisting of wood cabins, a kitchen area, a gazebo, toilet facilities, and workshop spaces. This means that Taylor is seeking help/sponsorship in the form of cash, building material, food and refreshments, skilled volunteers, etc.
“The greatest need to get a campsite off is, I will have to get the design of the campsite drawn, then approved by the municipal corporation, which will take money. We’ll need labourers, either money to pay people to work, or labourers to come in to help to erect the campsite. So it depends on what the resources will be like,” he explained.
Taylor would also like to help start a farm to generate income for the church and farmers in the areas, as the church does not get enough funds to serve the community. He said the farm is also to help the members who cannot afford “big” offering, as the Gospel is twisted if the Church cannot do what it is to do – take care of its flock.
Rainwater harvesting is also among the plans, and, as such, there is a need for a pump to get the water out of the catchment area.
Recently, there was a start when a group of University of Georgia at Athens students, through the Wesley Foundation, constructed a walkway from the mission house to the church building. A section of the path floods whenever there is heavy rainfall, and the earth becomes soggy. Lights are also slated to be installed along the path. He met the group by chance in Port Maria, and they are expected to be back next year.
“I would say to people who would want to come on board, if you believe in a generation of young people who are zealous for God and who long to see a generational change in the mind, attitude and social behaviour of young people, then you are more than welcome to give and be a part of the change,” Taylor said.