In 2015, New Salem Church in Kennesaw partnered with FaithBridge to start a foster care ministry. They wanted to live out God’s command in James 1:27 to “look after orphans and widows in their distress”. Accordingly, they called their foster care ministry James 1:27 Orphan Care.
Currently, New Salem has one foster family and six volunteers. Led by ministry team leader Scott Wheeler, New Salem has seen their members respond positively to foster care.
“There is an awareness and openness to foster care within our church that definitely wasn’t there before,” Scott said. “That is a great thing to see and hear from people.”
For Wheeler, he personally believes in helping children and their biological parents through difficult times.
“The kids are the ones that can suffer the most in these situations that they have no control over,” he said. “They need stability and love during these times. And the parents need some assurance that their child is going to be taken care of. It allows them to focus on correcting the situation they have find themselves in. Hopefully through the process they are closer as a family once they get back together.”
Scott has discovered that keeping foster care front of mind for the church and members has helped keep everyone engaged.
“I would also tell other churches to keep the excitement and passion alive,” he said. “It can be a slow process getting started and seem to take a long time to get to where one of your families gets a foster child. So much patience is required.
“FaithBridge has helped us through it all, though. They’ve been available when we had questions. There have been bumps in the road but they have been and are very open to helping and guiding us through the process.”