By Joy Moton | Reporter
Three years ago, Pastor John Durham had a vision of his church leaving its building to be a presence in the dying community surrounding it. His vision resulted in the annual We Walk 5k hosted by Highland Baptist Church.
The walk consists of registered participants walking around the northern part of Waco and praying over local businesses, ministries and residents. Participants would be given “We Walk” cards with the names of local businesses, churches and other organizations to pray for as they walk.
This year, the walk will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday. The event is designed to get church members to engage with the community outside of the church.
“It’s being a presence in the community that’s happening through our deeds and our actions of being present but also as we’re praying, that’s just an active part of us being where the Lord’s put us,” said Jamie Hipp, Highland Baptist Church Go Pastor. “He’s put Highland as a church building here on the corner of Maple and 30th, but we as the people make up the church and so our being present here is a thrust of that.”
Another objective of the walk is to raise awareness about the ministries in our city, such as Mission Waco. Some of the profits from registration for the walk will go to Mission Waco’s Jubilee Food Market. The market will serve to provide the opportunity for the less fortunate to buy fresh produce for a lower price. According to an article in the Waco Tribune Herald, the market is set to have its soft opening on Nov. 21, but it still needs additional funding.
“Highland is in North Waco, right in the middle of that food desert that the sociologists have determined is certainly a reality for the north part of Waco without fresh produce and without a viable market,” Durham said. “So it just made common sense and spiritual sense as well just to be a part of that.”
The rest of the money will go to Highland Baptist Church’s community ministries. They are ministries that involve after-school programs providing students from the neighborhood with tutoring, Bible lessons, food and fun.
So far, around 300 people have registered for the walk and as much as $2,500 could go to both ministries. Registration is still open until just prior to the event by emailing Jamie-Hipp@highlandbc.org, and the community is encouraged to participate.
“My hope is it reminds people that church is not just a Sunday morning activity, but we want to be people who shine the light of Christ and represent God well in our kindness and our sense of hope for our city,” Durham said.