Whole Man Ministries chosen as Church of the Year

Whole Man Ministries chosen as Church of the Year
December 09
13:17 2020

Going beyond the walls of the church is nothing new for Whole Man Ministries (WMM), but their work during the pandemic more than cemented their role in the community and is the major reason why they were selected as the Church of the Year for the Chronicle’s Community Service Awards.

WMM was one of the first churches to step out on the front lines to assist the community once the pandemic began shutting things down earlier this year. Their dedication to helping people of any economic background really set them apart from other institutions. The church said they are honored to receive the award, but gives God all the credit.

“I was elated and I thought that it was noteworthy to be recognized as Church of the Year, because we are always on the front lines,” said Bishop Barry Washington, senior pastor of Whole Man Ministries, about being voted Church of the Year. “In spite of the pandemic, we have been on the front lines and to be recognized, not just as a church, but for the work we do in the community, is the most important thing.”

Camilla Washington, Bishop Washington’s wife, added, “When they told us about it, I felt like we were getting an Emmy award because we felt so special. We have a smaller church, and we are not a 1,000-member church, but God has given us such a great vision, so that makes us a large ministry. Our vision is great, because the one that gave it to us is greater and he has made provision for us. We are so thankful for this opportunity for people to see what we do. We are not doing it to get any glory from man, we are doing it because we have been mandated from God to do the work of the church.”

The Washingtons don’t look at their church as small, because they feel their reach is so big.

“We may be small, but we have an enormous impact on the community,” said Bishop Washington. “Our impact is more far reaching than any other church here, regardless of their size, and we have proven that year after year.”

Bishop Washington gave an example of their impact on the community by touching on their Thanksgiving meal giveaway, which was one of the largest in the city by any church.

“Some churches gave away 100 turkeys and others gave away 200. We gave away 350 and we also put in the fixings with it; they didn’t do that. They had the means to do it, they had the wherewithal to do it, but they didn’t do it. We were able to feed 1,400 people, four people per family, with the amount of food we put in there.”

“It makes me feel blessed because I know God is smiling down upon Whole Man Ministries and all of our volunteers. When people say they are blessed by what we are doing, they don’t realize the impact they make on us and all the members here. It’s a blessing when you are able to give something back to people and make them feel better,” said Mrs. Washington.

For Whole Man Ministries, once the pandemic began to affect people’s lives financially, they knew they had to increase their presence and outreach in the community. The Washingtons said they were surprised by the amount of people that were in need and even more surprised by how many visited from affluent backgrounds.

“It started out with my wife having the thought to feed people,” said Bishop Washington. “We looked at the community and we saw that it was hitting rapidly. We had people of all races and economic backgrounds coming to out food bank, so we knew there was a serious need then.

“Having these drive-through food drives, we have seen some of the finest cars and those people were in need. We try to make everyone to feel the same and not make people feel less than because they had to come through a line. We understand the pandemic has affected everybody, so we didn’t want people to feel they were getting a handout, we were giving a hand up.”

Mrs. Washington says being recognized as the Church of the Year gives them a renewed spirit at the end of the year, because they have worked so tirelessly all year.

“It makes us smile a lot, it makes us thank God over and over and over again,” she said. “We used to say, when we first started back in 2006, that we were the little church that could, now we are the little church that can and we are doing it in the name of Jesus.”

The Washingtons want to close out the year with a bang, they said. They have partnered with the American Red Cross for a blood drive at the church, 3916 Old Lexington Road, on Dec. 19, starting at 9 a.m.

“If we can give blood, we can save a life,” he said. “I am praying that the whole community will respond and come out to give blood, because that life you may save could be a relative or someone you know. I want people to give the gift of life and what better time to do it than during the holidays.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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