Bill R. Jr. & Frances Atchison
Alfond Youth Center
126 North St.
Waterville, Maine 04901
Work Phone: 207.314.8453
email: [email protected]
October 2014 marked the fifth year of mission for William R. (“Bill”) Jr. and Frances (“Fran”) Childs Atchison at Alfond Youth Center (AYC), Waterville, Maine. In addition to ministering to the center’s 5,500 adult and child members with such offerings as an after-school program, Healthy Teeth Mission, golf programs, Bible study groups and preschool story time, the couple ministers to AYC staff members by listening, praying, offering spiritual care and support during crises, such as family loss, and sharing in the excitement of baptisms, which are performed in a swimming pool at the center.
“We can love God by loving others. I am able to use my spiritual gift of intercessory prayer, and watch the Lord’s response in powerful ways,” says Fran. “As a registered nurse [R.N.], I’ve learned to care for the whole person, and at AYC, spirit, mind and body.”
The couple walks alongside others in times of challenge as well as times of joy, regularly attending weddings and funerals. “We have become part of the team,” Bill says, “and folks are trusting us with their life struggles and celebrations.”
The after-school program is important for a variety of reasons—not the least of which is serving a complete dinner to families who may not otherwise eat. Healthy Teeth Mission offers screenings and cleanings for children and youth who experience inconsistent professional dental care. Providing opportunities for adults to share life’s ups and downs via discussion, virtual golf is proving to be more than a game. And the nine core values for life success are taught along with golf basics to a variety of age groups, beginning with children as young as 3.
“Our call is to serve folks of all backgrounds with the love Jesus has extended to us,” Bill says. “This happens through building relationships of trust and doing what we say we will in the strength and joy of the Lord, while praying for opportunities to share why we care for all.”
A lifelong learner focused on relational theology, Bill is an avid golfer and pursues a healthy lifestyle. Fran says she enjoys family time, baking cookies and pies, and sending birthday and care cards. The couple’s blended family is comprised of Ryan, age 35; Jake, 26; David, 25; Stephanie, 24; Sam, 22; Sarah, 22; Michael, 20; Luke, 17; Mandy, 15; and Matthew, 14.
- Graduate (Bill), American Baptist Churches of Maine Institute for Ministry, 2009
- R.N. (Fran), Kennebec Community College, Fairfield, Maine
- Sales and Marketing Management & Communication Arts (Bill), Bridgewater State College, 2000
- L.E.A.D. — Business Management (Bill), Eastern Nazarene College, 1998
- Partners in Education Training (Bill), Andover Newton Seminary, 1997
- Deacon (Bill), Windsor (Maine) Memorial Baptist Church, 2004-2008, and First Baptist Church, Hanson, Mass., 1985-2002
- Various roles (Bill), Faith Community Church, Unity, Maine, 2008-2009, Penney Memorial United Baptist Church, Augusta, Maine, 2002-2004, and Kingston Baptist Church, 1983-1985
- Employed (Fran) by Maine General Home Care for 16 years
- Commissioned as missionaries by American Baptist Home Mission Societies: Oct. 2013
- Ordained (Bill): Dec. 2009
- Wedding anniversary: June 26
- Birthdays: July 4 (Fran) and Sept. 14 (Bill)
HOME MISSION HIGHLIGHTS:
- Volunteer opportunities abound at AYC as well as YMCAs around the United States. Simply ask to serve as a mentor to a child who needs the positive influence of an adult in his or her life.
- View the Atchisons’ Facebook page at faithdynamics317.