Some things have changed since Chad and Anna Clement started Truth Baptist Church several years ago.
They have moved with their two young sons to a home in the north Oklahoma City area and have hired a youth pastor who now lives in the apartment near NW 122 and Pennsylvania that once housed their fledging church.
Chad Clement said Quail Springs Baptist Church continues as a major supporter of Truth Baptist's efforts, but other ministries from across the state and nation now send volunteers to help with the summer lunch ministry, related Bible clubs and other activities.
“We've seen over 100 decisions for Christ in our first two years,” Clement said. “We're just a tiny little church. God provided, and He does what He does.”
Clement said 30 to 60 children and their families attend Truth Baptist's free dinner and the worship services that follow on Sundays in the clubhouse at the Artisan Ridge apartment complex, also near NW 122 and Penn.
In June, the church took 65 Truth Baptist children to Gibson Baptist Camp in the Oklahoma Panhandle, and teens from the church attended youth camp at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center. Anna Clement spearheaded a four-week day camp for children in apartments in the NW 122 and Penn area.
As for this year's expansion of the summer meal ministry to apartments along NW 10 west of Meridian, Clement said relationships forged through such efforts are worth the hard work and worries about donation-based funding.
He said he contacted apartment managers for approval to distribute lunches. Then, he, his wife and volunteers such as Abbey Stroder, 19, and Chelsea Boyd, 21, Quail Springs Baptist children's ministry interns, knocked on doors at the apartment complexes served through the lunch ministry. They asked adults if they would allow their children to accept free lunch sacks the church would be offering in the summer.
Clement said he now knows many of the children by name and looks forward to getting to know them and their families better.
“We do what we do working with the poor because the Bible calls us to,” he said. “If people will come down here on the mission field, there are people here to be found.”