The Wider-Net (Community Missions and Education Building Endeavor)

Jesus’ image of the Kingdom of God as a net flung far and filled full is a powerful metaphor for the mission of the church. The church opens wide the net of the gospel of Jesus Christ, inviting people to come into the gospel story and encouraging people to go out with the gospel story.

“The Kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind.” -Matthew 13:47

In that spirit, “A Wider Net” names Northminster’s effort to create new and lasting structures that will result in a wider place to gather within our walls as well as a wider embrace of others beyond our walls.

The Wider-Net is a two-pronged project of Northminster to minister to the Georgetown/Mid-City community of Jackson and also to build an education building on the church premises. The missions component recognizes the need to nurture a community ministry that would bring hope and opportunity to people in a particular disadvantaged inner-city area of Jackson, Mississippi by touching their lives spiritually, physically and socially and leading them to resources and cooperative activities that would empower them in the name of Christ. The building component came out of a church self-study which determined that Northminster’s current building space was not adequate for our growing education programs and membership. Consequently, we broke ground on a new adult education building in the Spring of 2006. While many church members have sacrificially given and pledged to the Wider-Net, more gifts are still necessary to bring this two-pronged project to fruition. We recommend gifts above your tithe and offering to go to help bring this ministry to its completion

Within Our Walls

Several years ago, Northminster anticipated the need to modify and expand our physical facilities to make room for our growing church community. Specifically, we needed more education space for Sunday School classes as well as additional seating for worship.

Being no small project, the work was divided into two phases:

  • Phase I: In 2000, work began to complete the balcony in the sanctuary according to the church’s original design. This was completed in 2002, along with some additional improvements and changes to the interior of the church.
  • Phase II: In 2006, we broke ground on our new adult education building, which will include nine classrooms to be used primarily for Sunday School classes and meeting space. A columbarium will be built in a garden between our new education building and the sanctuary, and new parking spaces will be added to our back parking lot.

Beyond Our Walls

The goal of our Wider Net community efforts is to nurture a ministry that brings hope and opportunity to people in the Mid-City/Georgetown area of Jackson by touching their lives spiritually, physically, and socially and by leading them to resources and cooperative activities that will empower them in the name of Christ.

Over the past five years, activities have included:

  • Offering a weekly Bible class at the neighborhood community center
  • Building Habitat houses and procuring land for future builds
  • Home repair projects ranging from repairing floors to replacing roofs (dewitt street)
  • Providing breakfast and a Bible story for Operation Shoestring’s Project Kids summer program
  • Teaching art classes to 2nd and 3rd graders at Operation Shoestring’s After-School Tutoring Program
  • Sponsoring activities for children and youth at the neighborhood community center: Summer Kids Club/Summer Teen Club, Tutoring and homework help, and monthly service projects for neighborhood teens
  • Befriending senior adults and regularly checking in with those who are sick or homebound
  • Planning activities with residents to strengthen the neighborhood community association and community involvement

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Local & Direct

Listed below are the organizations supported as Northminster’s Local and Direct missions, through our Missions Committee. If you would like additional information on any of the organizations listed, you may contact the Chair of the Missions Committee for information related to Local and Direct Missions, or the Co-Chairs of the Denominational Relations Committee for information related to the National and World Baptist Missions.

Catholic Charities was established in 1963 as the social service agency of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson.  The mission of Catholic Charities is to be a visible sign of Christ’s love by helping those who are unable to help themselves; the poor and vulnerable, especially children, women and families.  The Catholic Charities’ Shelter for Battered Families Program strives to meet the residential needs of victims of domestic violence and their children.

The Parent Child Center is a program administered by the YMCA, a nonprofit organization. The youth initiative programs in Hinds, Rankin, Madison and 11 other counties across Mississippi provide family support in their multi-generational approach.  Monthly parent meetings help parents and guardians become better parents to the teenagers in the programs while building a support network with other parents in programs.  Parents learn skills on setting boundaries; holding youth accountable; addressing inappropriate behavior in a non-violent and effective manner and strengthening family functioning.  

Habitat for Humanity is a housing ministry in which a partnership is formed with low-income families to build houses which they then purchase on a non-profit, no-interest basis.  Habitat for Humanity is an international ministry, building homes in over 1400 locations in every state in the U.S. and in 40 countries.  Habitat is the 17th largest homebuilder in the United States.

The McClean Fletcher Center, not for profit, a service of Hospice Ministries [www.hospiceministries.org], is the first and only grief support program in Mississippi offering a supportive, nurturing environment to grieving children and teens, ages 4-18, after the loss of a loved one or special person in their lives.  They are offered a safe place in peer support groups where they can interact with others who have experienced similar losses, learn life-long coping skills and most importantly, begin a healthy healing process.  The Center does not charge fees for its services. All Mississippi children, adolescents and their families in need of these services are welcome.

Salt and Light is a ministry that has grown out of the Honduras ministry of Northminster and other Mississippi churches.  It is the Mississippi sister organization and provides funding to Ministerio Sal y Luz, a holistic Honduran ministry seeking to provide spiritual, educational, housing, medical, and dental care to the poor in Honduras.  It is also the sponsor of the Northminster Mission trip to Honduras.

Magnolia Speech School is a non-public, non-profit, special purpose school. The school provides quality and highly specialized instruction for children who have specific communicative challenges. Each classroom has no more than 8 children with an assistant. Every child receives additional therapeutic interventions (speech/language, audition, occupational therapy) at no additional cost to the families.  At Magnolia Speech School, EVERY STUDENT receives some form of a scholarship. NO student pays full tuition. Communicative challenges are evident throughout all socio-economic levels and at Magnolia Speech School; those financial challenges should not impact a family’s decision about enrollment.  Through the scholarship program, the school is able to assist families according to their need.

Mission Mississippi sponsors and/or coordinates opportunities for people of various denominations and racial backgrounds to meet, get to know each other and serve the Lord together through gatherings such as: weekly Thursday morning prayer breakfasts at alternating black and white churches, meetings of pastors and pastor/spouse retreats, annual Mayor’s Leadership Prayer Breakfast, annual picnic and Christmas party, annual youth and adult rallies, Two and Two Together Restaurant Day.  Mission Mississippi’s vision is to encourage and actively express unity in the body of Christ across racial and denominational lines so the message of Christ can be better seen in our communities throughout Mississippi.

Operation Shoestring is a private, non-profit community services organization designed to help people overcome the problems of poverty and racism so that they can become self-sufficient.  Operation Shoestring’s mission is to provide a ladder of opportunity to disadvantaged families.  Through a variety of programs serving children, youth and adults, Operation Shoestring assists over 1000 Jackson families facing social, economic and personal challenges.  Operation Shoestring includes the following programs: day care for pre-kindergartners; after-school and summer programs for children in grades K-12; emergency services for families and seniors; a college test prep project for teens; and an art and entrepreneurship project for teens.

Stewpot Community Services, is a faith-based non-profit that offers help and friendship to people who live in deep poverty and homelessness. Our ministries include a soup kitchen, food pantry, clothing closet, and shelters.   We also offer support services like chapel, art, and counseling.  Over time, we developed a particular concern for the children living in our primary service area; through the passion and help of volunteers we started an afterschool program and summer camp that serves children and teenagers. We were started by and are sustained by people of faith. Our presence and work arises from our commitment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Young Life is a mission community of Christ-centered people committed to reaching adolescent youth with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This mission is carried out by building personal relationships with young people, by sharing and participating with young people in a variety of experiences through which the Gospel can be heard and experienced by them.  The mission of Young Life is carried out under the authority of scripture and through an understanding of incarnational witness.

Grace House was established in January 1995 as a hospice for people dying from AIDS.  Today, Grace House provides caring supportive services to all homeless people affected by the HIV disease, maintains a home environment in which people living with HIV disease may live with dignity, safety, and care, and, provides public education and awareness about HIV/AIDS.  Grace House is a non-political, not-for-profit organization that relies on concerned individuals and organizations for its operation and support.

Starting October 2014, Grace House was chosen to assume responsibility for New Life for Women’s HUD Supportive Housing Program for homeless women in recovery from chemical dependency. Annually, Grace House provides housing, programming addressing chemical dependency, and other supportive services to a minimum of 30 women. Grace House believes that extending a supportive environment for women recovering from addictions improves their odds for success.

Voice of Calvary Ministries purpose is providing technical and developmental support to the poor through ministry. The primary activities include housing development in economically deprived areas, youth recreation, family leadership and development programs, and entrepreneurship.

HIS Heart, The Community Ministries of Calvary Baptist Church is a ministry to establish relationships with inner-city families and children for the purpose of enriching their lives through love, faith, hope and friendship.