Alumni Ministry Leaders Adapting to COVID-19
This article is the second in a series of articles about how Central Baptist College alumni in various fields are adapting their work and ministry amid the COVID-19 global pandemic. This article shows how alumni ministry leaders are adapting their ministries during the crisis.
Big Impact on Churches
The effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been felt all over the United States at many levels. One of the biggest impacts has been on churches. A pair of Central Baptist College alumni, Dustin Wisely and Zac Lee, have helped enact new ways to allow their churches to meet virtually and stay connected in this unprecedented time in history.
First Baptist Church in Magnolia, AR
Dustin Wisely, a 2005 graduate, is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Magnolia, Arkansas, a position he started earlier this year after being the youth pastor for the last 12 years. He and his church have made changes they never thought possible to continue to meet together during this time.
“We pre-record our services and air them every Sunday at 10 a.m., just like we would normally meet,” said Wisely. “Sunday School meetings are on YouTube, and we have been having mid-week Zoom Bible studies with our congregation. Staff still work three days a week in the office, and the adjustment has been interesting. We have also been doing interactive AWANA for kids and having scavenger hunts from our cars during the week.”
Wisely and his church are also reaching out to their members that are shut in and can’t really get out to get things like groceries. “We have split the church membership up to make phone calls and make sure that our entire congregation has some form of personal contact. We have been blessed to have a program at the local Brookshire’s, Instacart, where we are able to buy groceries for our elderly members and get them delivered to their homes,” Wisely continued.
Oak Park Baptist Church in Little Rock, AR
Zac Lee, who is a 2019 graduate, is the student pastor at Oak Park Baptist Church in Little Rock. His church is operating like normal as well, except everything is now virtual.
“We have moved to online services, which are pre-recorded, and online meetings,” said Lee. “Our online service is hosted through oakpark.online.church, and it has some really cool features, including an interactive chat and a prayer button.”
Student ministry has been the biggest adjustment personally for Lee. “The adjustments on Wednesday nights have been difficult. We do games and worship on Zoom, but it has been hard for me to disciple the kids personally.”
Despite the difficulties, Lee and his crew have found ways to make things easier. “We had a cool idea to do a door-to-door Easter Basket distribution on the Saturday before Easter,” added Lee. “Also, we have been interacting virtually with the students on Sunday night and have been giving their parents online curriculum. We are really busy and have been posting more on social media along with our pastor posting a weekly prayer list video as well.”
What lessons have Wisely, Lee, and their churches learned through this process? According to Wisely, First Baptist Church in Magnolia “plans to continue doing our services online in the future and plans on getting our Sunday School lessons out earlier. This situation has helped prepare for that.”
Oak Park Baptist Church in Little Rock also has takeaways from this situation. Lee said that Oak Park will continue to use social media on a broader scale in the future, and they will begin to live stream their services more often.
We are proud to see how our alumni ministry leaders are adapting their ministries to meet the needs of their church members.
Have you been called to the preaching ministry or another church ministry role like Dustin and Zac? Central Baptist College has been equipping pastors and church leaders since it was established in 1952.
Schedule a meeting with an Admissions representative by visiting cbc.edu/whyCBC.
Due the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Central Baptist College campus is currently closed to visitors. However, you can still have a virtual campus visit experience by going to cbc.edu/visit.
To see article one in this series, and to see future stories about how Central Baptist College alumni are responding to the COVID-19 global pandemic, be sure to visit cbc.edu/blog.