NEWS // August 12, 2015

Faith-Based Partner's Programs Support Healthy, Safe and Thriving Region

Bayview Baptist Church has adopted a number of successful programs and services to advance the shared Live Well San Diego vision of a region that is Building Better Health, Living Safely and Thriving.   Bayview’s Ministry Services and Community Services offer a wide array of programs that cultivate opportunities for their members and the greater community to grow, connect and enjoy the highest quality of life.   Through its summer camps, scholarships, AGAPE ministry, and donation programs, Bayview Baptist Church is adding to the collective impact of Live Well San Diego.

Bayview Baptist Church is Building Better Health and supporting life-long learning through their summer camp programs.  Camp Operation Ascend provides children in grades K-8 with daily enrichment activities that help them learn and live healthier lives.  Activities include local field trips, swimming, and group games and activities, including science and arts & crafts.   New to their summer camp offerings is the I Choose Life program, a weeklong camp for ages 13-18 where campers are able to choose one to two classes in photography, graphic design, dance, culinary arts, videography and media broadcasting.

“The need for these camps arose from Pastor Brooks’ vision to provide our youth with arts, sports, and health related activities, but we also saw the need to provide the kids in our community with an activity to keep them engaged while they were off from school,” said Erika Wise, Executive Assistant to Pastor Brooks and Marketing Director. “It was awesome to see these kids interested in art and doing something that they wouldn’t have normally tried.”

Life-long learning is also supported through their scholarship programs.  Bayview offers six different scholarships to members and the community each year and has given over $1.3 million in scholarships to hundreds of applicants over the years.

“Pastor Winters was a big advocate for education and he started our scholarship program over 25 years ago,” said Steven Beard, Director of BayLife, a ministry branch of Bayview Baptist Church. “Our scholarships not only help high school graduates but also adults that want to go back to school or didn’t have the opportunity to finish school.”

Over the course of the year, Bayview also offers a number of preparatory workshops to help students and parents prepare for all levels of their education including, college application and financing, SAT prep, and How to Talk to Teachers.

Bayview Baptist Church helps our region Live Safely by creating resilient communities.  Bayview’s AGAPE Ministry was developed to help support the mental health and general well-being of women dealing with incarceration-related issues, personally or through family members.  Agape is a term that describes the love of God for humankind and extends to the unconditional love we give to others. 

“We had people in our congregation who were dealing with these issues and many of our families suffered in silence,” said Wise. “We felt these people were the most underserved.”

The AGAPE ministry provides women with a compassionate, understanding, non-judgmental, support partner to help them and their families better adapt to life outside of the prison system.

Bayview Baptist Church helps our region Thrive by giving back to the community through two of their donation focused programs.  Bayview determined that 70-80% of their congregation was in some way connected to the military.  Their A.R.M.ed 4 Him program supports service members by sending care packages to those who have been deployed.

“We are a huge giving church,” said Wise.  “The A.R.M.ed 4 Him program lets us tell members of our military that we love you, we care about you, we know you are sacrificing and it is appreciated.”

The community can also donate to children in need through Bayview’s Back to School Festival held every August.  Individuals and organizations donate school supplies to the church from all over the county to ensure students get the items they need to have a successful start to the school year.   Church volunteers orchestrate the event, which can serve up to a thousand kids each year.

Each of these programs provides opportunities for church members and the greater community to build better health, live safe and thrive.  As a recognized Live Well San Diego partner, Bayview Baptist Church is addressing the diverse needs of their region and strives to serve their members, community and the world by reaching, teaching and serving through programs and services that support all three components of Live Well San Diego.