SBTS student helps Clifton take care of its members, lock-in style

Communications Staff — January 30, 2009

Lock-ins are usually hosted for fun and the attendees are typically middle and high school students, but Clifton Baptist Church recently hosted a lock-in out of necessity and the attendees included a two-week old and a 78-year old.

Snow and ice storms in Louisville Jan. 27-28 left 205,000
residents without power, including a number of Clifton members.

Southern Seminary master of divinity student Ryan Townsend, pastor of administration and children’s ministry at Clifton, started tracking down members without power Wednesday morning.

‘The elders called all of our elderly and non-sighted members and we sent out an email to our church membership list,’ he said. ‘I also had several people call me.’

Townsend started picking up members without power around 10 a.m. and bringing them to Clifton. They ordered pizza for lunch and by evening they had 18 people bedding down for the night.

Townsend’s wife, Tara Beth, made dinner for everyone in the church’s kitchen. Several of the single people in the church helped with dinner and helped care for the non-sighted members who were there.

‘It was great because it was a wonderful instance of the family [of Christ] taking care of each other,’ Townsend said. ‘We were joking that it was the Clifton lock-in. We had a devotional time talking about the greatness of God and reflecting on that. We stayed up late playing games and the kids loved it, running around and having a good time.’
In the morning, Tara Beth made a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, bacon and eggs, orange juice, coffee and tea.

Townsend and another pastor spent the day calling members in the church and by late afternoon they had everyone without power lined up to spend the night with members who did.

‘By God’s grace we were able to able to find hosts for everyone,’ he said. ‘We went from a centralized location Wednesday night to a de-centralized location for Thursday night.’

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