1937 Project volunteers provide hope and gospel conversations

Communications Staff — April 28, 2017

Kevin Jones, assistant professor of teacher education at Boyce College, vacuums the sanctuary of No More Limits Church, which meets in a century-old church building in the west Louisville neighborhood of Shawnee.

Despite inclement weather, 400 volunteers from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College participated in the fifth annual 1937 Project, April 22. The event commemorates the school’s relief efforts in the Great Flood of 1937, when the Ohio River rose to more than 50 feet, creating one of the worst floods in American history.

“The phrase that keeps coming to mind about [the 1937 Project] is ‘the favor of the Lord,’” Pierre wrote in a Student Life e-newsletter. “We made contact with many fellow volunteers, neighborhood residents, and city workers. We had many gospel conversations. One person even professed Christ as Lord and is seeking fellowship at a great neighborhood church. This is the wonder of serving.”

10-year-old Jennifer, daughter of SBTS marketing director Laurie Taylor, rakes leaves as part of the Shawnee Neighborhood Cleanup.

According to Southern Seminary’s Student Life Office, volunteers logged about 1,200 community engagement hours throughout the city, including projects at Scarlet Hope, Oxmoor Lodge Retirement Home, Louisville Rescue Mission, Keystone Learning Academy, and Portland Promise Center. The mayor’s office assigned the seminary community to two specific projects — Smoketown Neighborhood Cleanup and Shawnee Neighborhood Cleanup — where about 300 people disbursed to pick up trash and share the love of Christ with residents.

As part of the cleanup in the Shawnee neighborhood, Boyce professor Kevin Jones led a group to work on a century-old church building that recently became the home of No More Limits Church, pastored by Emery Scott Lee. Affected by water damage and years of vandalism, the church was almost “completely destroyed,” Jones said. Despite the damage, Lee still had hope.

Pastor Lee’s “vision is that the church will become a beacon of light in the Shawnee neighborhood. His hope is that his church will be a place where the gospel will be fully displayed,” Jones said.

Volunteers offered spiritual encouragement, and Jones said praying for one another was “probably the highlight of our time spent.”

“Pastor Lee prayed for our institution, volunteers, and the Body of Christ. In turn, I prayed specifically for him, his church, his family, and the community,” Jones said. “Myself and the other volunteers with our team look forward to a continued relationship with Pastor Lee. The goal is to make a continued difference, not an annual event. We will meet with him this summer to strategize ways for of collaboration.”

The 1937 Project joins with Mayor Greg Fischer’s Give A Day week of service. Fischer spoke to volunteers during the morning rally before they were sent out to various project sites. The mayor encouraged volunteers and remarked how Southern Seminary has been essential to accomplishing his plans for making Louisville a compassionate city.

“In all the craziness of the weather that morning, Mayor Greg Fischer expressed privately how shocked he was at the incredible turnout,” Pierre wrote.

The 1937 Project was part of Southern Seminary’s first ever Giving Days, a four-day initiative April 20-23 aimed at supporting the mission of the institution providing students, alumni, donors, and faculty the opportunity to tell their stories, support the institution financially, and serve the community of Louisville.


Are you ready to become a pastor, counselor, or church leader who is Trusted for Truth?

Apply now for summer or fall studies

Classes begin in June & Aug.