Three hundred volunteers will hit the streets of Sumter on Saturday to serve "the least of these" as Alice Drive Baptist Church once again sponsors Operation Inasmuch.
ADBC Lead Pastor Clay Smith challenged the church 12 years ago to fulfill the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:40, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Smith says over the past 12 years the church has engaged in more than 250 mission projects.
"We believe church is not a building or a gathering on Sunday," Smith said. "It is a movement to bring light, hope and love to people in need. That's why we do this each year."
Layman Joel Singletary made Smith's vision a reality. He organized the first Operation Inasmuch and has served as point leader every year since then. "When you see the people we touch each year, it will fill your heart," Singletary said.
Projects this year will include providing handyman services to widows, building handicap ramps, providing first responders with cookies and water, collecting groceries for Sumter United Ministries, picking up trash along 11 roadways and doing repair work at local schools.
Ryan Glosson, outreach minister at Alice Drive, coordinates the annual effort. Glosson said, "This year we have over 200 people from our own church as well as 100 others from the community joining us. We want our community to know we want to do something for people, not get something from people."
According to Glosson, it is not just the recipients of the service projects who are blessed. "Over and over, we hear our volunteers say they get a bigger blessing out of serving instead of being served. Operation Inasmuch gives them an avenue to live out their faith."
Glosson cited the example of Drue Spigner, a local forester, who is the lay coordinator of the event. "He has organized projects, enlisted volunteers and been the spark plug for us this year. This is his passion, his calling."
Volunteers will gather at the church at 9 a.m. Saturday for prayer and then will fan out to do their projects.
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