Long Bay Baptist is in its 42nd year and is a church family with open arms both to its members and the community.
The church has run a Kindergarten for over 20 years and recently made the decision to extend the facilities to better serve its community and become an Early Childhood Centre. In March 2020, Christian Savings provided the funding for Phases 1 of a church wide development, starting with expanding the centre.
The church and Christian Savings have had a long history working together. 12 years ago, the church owned the site including the church building and manse, and were looking to purchase an additional residential property next door. Christian Savings provided the finance back then for this purchase, which in 2020 provided part of the equity for this current project.
Today the church has around 300 members and runs a 9am traditional service, 10:30am contemporary service and an evening youth meeting. In the last couple of years, a Korean Congregation and Chinese congregation have also formed.
They are also heavily involved in Alpha and have seen a significant number of people come to faith over the last 20 years through this ministry.
‘We have a mission to not just be at the heart of the community, but to be the heart of the community,’ says Keith McMinn, Treasurer for Long Bay Baptist Church. ‘If you can serve in that way so that people know you’re there, that’s the best witness we can be.’
The church works with Plunket, cooking 100 – 200 meals a month for new mothers, they also have a good working relationship with Long Bay College, helping to run a 24/7 program by youth program to support the school’s pastoral team.
They also run a lunch club for the elderly with often around 50 meeting together. ‘Many of those that attend live on their own and don’t cook for themselves properly, these lunches are a great way to combat loneliness for them,’ says Keith.
The church even works alongside a local medical centre, who refer people who are struggling to the church who may need pastoral support, babysitting or food services.
The current situation with COVID-19, has affected the various ways the church meets together but hasn’t stopped them from supporting their church family and wider community.
‘Currently the church has a huge phone network, contacting vulnerable people, those that live on their own or that have health/mental health issues, reaching out to them twice a week,’ says Keith. ‘We have stocked a freezer with 50 frozen meals, with the possibility others need them, we also have a team collecting prescriptions from pharmacies. Our different congregations are meeting together on zoom where you can have up to 100 people together online.’
‘As well as a funder. Christian Savings has also been our place of choice for deposits over the years. You are always been extremely helpful, on a personal note in the last 6 months we’ve had to organize large transactions at short notice and always been very straightforward. Working with Grace and the deposit team, the answer always seems to be yes, its always a friendly, helpful and prompt response. I don’t think we’ve ever had any issue or question of going anywhere else.’