ABHMS awards grant to benefit children

Children in the small town of Reading Center, N.Y., now enjoy safe, new playground equipment, thanks to American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) awarding a grant from the Louise Burchard Pierce Memorial Fund to Reading Community Church.

The church’s old playground equipment—aged at least 60 years—was regularly used during a well-attended yearly summer vacation Bible school and monthly “Reading Fun Day.” The nearest other playground is that of a school at least 6 miles away.

The church’s recently constructed outdoor play area includes two slides and swings as well as a child-sized “lookout tower,” suspension bridge and picnic table. Finishing touches will include landscape fabric, mulch and adult-sized picnic tables. The church also maintains an adjacent blacktop court with basketball nets.

Before a construction crew installed the playset, the 36-by-48-foot plot was prepared, without charge, by a civil engineer and her boss, owner of a construction company. The pair used a bulldozer, excavator and dump truck to dig up and haul away dirt. Then they surveyed and leveled the ground before laying a foundation and placing landscape timber.

The engineer began attending Reading Community Church only two years ago.

“I have always believed God provides for what we need. Sometimes he’s in the process before we’re aware there will be a need [Isaiah 65:24],” writes the Rev. David Daniels, Reading Community Church’s pastor, in a report to ABHMS. “He [the company owner] never charged us a dime for everything they did.”

The $5,000 grant also covered a children’s ministries workshop.

For more information about the Louise Burchard Pierce Memorial Fund, contact Dave L. Moore Jr., ABHMS director of investments, or the Rev. Cassandra Carkuff Williams, Ed.D., ABHMS director of Discipleship Ministries.