HIGH COUNTRY — Eleven churches came together on Sept. 11 through the High Country Impact to give thanks to their communities through service.
Organized by the Three Forks Baptist Association, a regional network of Baptist churches in the High Country, the service this year included community projects such as construction for those in need, outreach events and dinners, and goodie bags for fire and police departments.
Mt. Vernon Baptist Church held an event at Bradford Park where church members helped do renovation and construction projects on residences in the community in need while others helped facilitate lawn games, a hotdog lunch and an afternoon sermon by Dustin Beane.
Angie Derrick, administrative assistant to minister of education and administration at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, said the church was excited to serve in the community and hoped that residents of the neighborhood would come join them for the afternoon.
According to Jennifer Waldorf from the Three Forks Baptist Association, Pleasant Grove, Mt. Calvary, South Fork and Greenway Baptist churches all showed their appreciation for local law enforcement, fire departments and first responders by providing them with a meal or some type of gift.
Union Baptist Church built a ramp for a community member in need in their community and filled Blessing Boxes and Little Free Pantries throughout Watauga County. Rutherford and Bethel Baptist churches partnered with local schools — Two Rivers Community School and Bethel School, respectively.
Laurel Springs Baptist Church hosted a meal for international students at Appalachian State University and Church in the Harvest had an evangelistic outreach on campus and in student housing.
According to Waldorf, the High Country Impact came from an event the Three Forks Baptist Association used to participate in called Operation InAsMuch, a worldwide day of emphasis on single day service projects. Waldorf said that in 2017 and 2018 the association brought back the day of emphasis and began calling it Impact Watauga, but changed to High Country Impact in 2019 to be more inclusive of churches in their organization in Avery and Ashe counties.
Marisa Mecke is a Report for America corps member for Mountain Times Publications. Report for America is a national nonprofit service program which places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.