It’s been happening since January 30, 2016.
A Baltimore resident pulls into a gas station, perhaps with just enough cash for a little gasoline in hopes of being able to drive a few miles further. Instead, a good Samaritan from Miracle City Church emerges to pay for a full tank.
A family carrying around laundry for weeks, washing a small load at a time because money is scarce and it’s become impossible to clean all of their clothes at once.
Again, a Miracle City Church volunteer happens upon the scene, paying for all of the clothing to be washed to the delight of that family.
“On January 30, our church launched a ‘100,000 Touches’ campaign, a yearlong service campaign where we are seeking to serve 100,000 people in the city over a one-year time frame,” said Rev. David Franklin, the pastor of the church, of the Seventh Day Adventist faith, on South Rock Glen Road in Baltimore. “We started that day with service projects asking people to show up at 8 a.m. To date we’ve served over 5,000 people in the city, feeding the homeless, paying for people’s gas, paying for their groceries, going into laundromats and providing free loads to people, and going into nursing homes providing assistance there.”
On Saturday, March 12, 2016 members of Miracle City joined 12 other area churches and community leaders to participate in Unity Day, a day of community service projects around the city and a worship event that focused on ending violence in Baltimore.
“Thirteen area churches come together once a year to worship and fellowship but this year was somewhat inspired by the work here at Miracle,” Franklin said. “We had 90 plus volunteers shows up at 8 a.m. at Berea Temple and we served 857 people through various projects through our city. I’m ecstatic and that’s awesome. Two weeks before that we had 200 people show up and serve 1,500 at the church so the buzz is growing and people are getting excited about serving.”
On Saturday, March 19, 2016, church members plan to kick off a cleanup weekend where they will host projects that Franklin said will have a longer view toward sustainable impact projects and programs.
Franklin says they will clean a three to four block radius beginning near Collins Street.
Church members will also have food and water available for the homeless and anyone else who want to just talk. Also, volunteers will head to the Baltimore Health Expo downtown where, in 2015, more than 30,000 visited the expo with many seeking information about how to improve their health.
The church is expected to have a booth at the expo where they’ll provide health information.
“Miracle City Church’s re-launch is about becoming an outreach-focused church. We want to reach out to the community in relevant ways which results in people choosing to live the miracle of life in Jesus Christ,” Franklin said. “In general, we will focus on service projects that do good for the sake of doing good— or what we call disinterested benevolence. We want to give and serve without expecting anything in return.”
The goal of 100,000 touches in 365 days is off to an excellent start, Franklin said, noting that 30,000 touches in the first 30 days are tangible goals that give energy, focus, and a measurable outcome for the entire church to rally around.
“As pastor, the blessing for me is to see people awaken to the joy of service and realize the significant impact that can be had when you step outside the four walls of the church,” Franklin said. “The church was never to be a building but four walls of the community.”