Signal Mountain Baptist Church is kicking off a summer full of missions starting with hosting Interfaith Homeless Network June 19-26. Four families will stay the night for a week inside the former church parsonage next door with church volunteers assisting them.
"Interfaith helps families work toward housing and finding jobs," said Signal Mountain Baptist minister of education and missions Sally Ensley. "Churches in the network provide meals, evening activities and a place to sleep."
She said IHN works to help families get back on their feet within a three-month period.
"We host families three times per year," Ensley said. "They are always looking for more churches to be a part of IHN."
The next mission church volunteers will tackle is taking a 30-member team to West Virginia June 25 through July 2. The team will camp in tents in remote Riverton, West Va.
"We will be conducting a day camp for teenagers in Circleville and helping North Fork Baptist Church in Riverton with their VBS in the evenings," she said of the church's first mission trip to West Virginia. "The day camp is an Extreme Reality Day Camp with various sports, video games and paintball,"
The next mission is the annual Signal Mountain Baptist mission trip to Kentucky July 4-10. A 35-member team will go to Kentucky.
"This will be our 12th year to take a group to Lynch, Kentucky," said Ensley. "We will spend a lot of our time in Barbourville, Kentucky too. We will help a small church, St. Paul's Baptist Church, with their Vacation Bible School. We will also paint and repair some houses while there."
She said it will be exciting to do four missions in three weeks.
"I believe and our church believes that missions are exactly what we are called to do by God," said Ensley. "We need prayers for our missions. We are collecting money for Bibles to take to West Virginia and Kentucky to give to youth."
• Signal Mountain Baptist Church is hosting "Pandamania: Where God is Wild About You" Vacation Bible School June 20-24 from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday for students in preschool through recent fifth-grade graduates. Children will participate in arts and crafts, recreation, Bible study, snacks and fun-filled opening and closing sessions. Boys will compete against the girls to see who can raise the most money for two charities at VBS. Proceeds will be split evenly between the Hamilton County Baptist Association that provides food to those in need and the other half will purchase Bibles to take to West Virginia and Kentucky. Signal Mountain Baptist Church, at 939 Ridgeway Ave., can be reached at 886-1244.