It would have been easy for Barron Martin to take the safe route. He could have moved from the Memphis area, found a comfortable job, and simply “tuned out” the violence and poverty that plagues the neighborhood where he was raised.
Instead, he chose the opposite approach. He elected to be on the frontline.
Responding to God’s call, Martin has become a highly-visible figure in the West Frayser area, bringing the hope and Love of Christ to his community. He is the founder and pastor of One Faith Christian Center Church, which is dedicated to reaching youth and children for Jesus amid the tough circumstances.
“Frayser is high in gang violence, high in crime, high in poverty,” Martin said. “But we can give our people hope by teaching them the basic principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When they apply that, they will see an effective change in their lives. And when that effective change comes, we have a better community.”
Martin likes to refer to One Faith Christian Center as “the church without walls.” He — along with a core group of committed members — have established a steady presence in the community, even meeting with gang leaders in an attempt to bring harmony to the area.
“We’ve been to homes in this poverty-stricken community where people don’t even have a front door,” Martin said. “And we’ve provided a door for them so that they can take down the sheets and blankets. We’ve provided shoes and supplied food — and we’ve done this not to get them to come to church, but to show them that Jesus is real and that we really do care about them.”
The church, which has established numerous tutoring and mentoring programs for youth and children, holds a chapel service each Wednesday night for local students. More than 300 students have given their life to Christ during these gatherings over the past few years.
The church also tutors more than 100 students each week. The sessions are not exclusively geared toward school subjects, but also life lessons. The goal is to steer the children toward wholesome, productive lifestyles.
“The male mentors are absent in our community,” said Robert Blake, a deacon at One Faith. “So it is good for the church to come in and be strong male mentors for these young men, because a lot of our boys don’t have fathers.
“Some of these kids believe there is no way out, and they don’t believe in Christ,” he said. “It’s not until we go out into the streets, and get them to come into the church, that we can really show them that there is a God and He sent His Son into the world to die for them.”
One Faith Christian Center Church receives funding from Tennessee Baptists through the Golden Offering of Tennessee Missions.
“If it had not been for the Golden Offering and the assistance that we’ve gained from it, we would not be able to survive as a church,” Martin said. “The (offering) is totally, totally essential. I encourage everyone to keep supporting that so that we can keep being able to do the evangelism and discipleship that the Lord has commanded us to do.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press, by David Dawson
A love letter to the viewer,
If you know that you don’t have a home in Heaven waiting for you when you die, if you know that you have not trusted God’s Son, Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, here is how you can be saved today and have a home in Heaven when you die,
- First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
- Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
- Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
- Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
- Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
- If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to GospelLightSociety.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door“. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you!