I just got a copy of the actual newspaper in the mail from Northern Ireland. I thought you would really enjoy reading the article about one of our missionaries sent out from Vision. God is using what you give to make a difference.
PASTOR Travis Snode, who is 28 this month, has embarked on a spiritual journey along a very steep path.
Possibly one of the youngest ministers caring for a flock in the City, his church – North West Baptist Church on Fountain Street – celebrated its first anniversary in existence at the end of May. Fronting a new church in a City known for its robust religious outlooks, it’s not a job for the ‘feint’ of spirit.
A native of Ohio in the USA, he grew up in a small town called Butler, he and his wife came to Northern Ireland five years ago, settling first in Limavady.
“I felt God calling me into the Ministry when I was nine years old. I was kind of an unusual kid – other kids were walking around with trains or their toy cars and y’know, and I had my Bible, but I did enjoy basketball – so I wasn’t that boring of a kid!
“I always had an interest in Ireland. I have family – like a lot of Americans do – that come from here. My grandmother’s name was Reid, so I got the interest in coming to this country when I was just a teenager, so when we got married in 2003 and came over for a visit, we just visited different churches down south and here in the north, and we really felt like this is where we wanted to come and a door opened first in Limavady for us to work in Roe Valley Baptist Church, and we worked there for a year-and-a-half, and then while we were there we prayed about coming to Derry/Londonderry and starting a church here and so that’s how we came to be here.”
Asked what he thought the North West Baptist Church could offer people, Pastor Snode, who was born and raised a Baptist, said: “Our church, even though we are a Baptist Church we are not really traditionally or historically Protestant or Catholic, we are just a Christian Church and I think we essentially can offer people a better way of life. First and foremost it is faith in Jesus Christ and a personal relationship with God. We try and tell people that our church isn’t about ‘a religion’, it is about a relationship with God and Christ, and we get people from all backgrounds coming to our church.
“So I’d like it to be a home for people from all backgrounds, and not that they have to do away with their history or their culture, but celebrate the differences. I think coming from America that gives an international flavour to our church already, y’know?
“I think we offer hope, I think we offer help for practical things like marriage, families, people who are dealing with depression, or dealing with or struggling with suicide, and we try to sense those needs. Where we are at, in the City centre, and maybe are struggling with different things, I think we can be of help to them,” he said.
“We are a new church, we started on May 25, 2008, and basically what we did was we travelled around various Baptist Churches in the USA and told them what we believed God wanted us to do and then some agreed to support us and back us, and that helps us. We have a library and have more books that we are going to put in, but we already have books on commentaries, books on Evangelism, on different beliefs, for youth, on marriage, we have some kids’ books – we try to have something for everybody and people can check them out.”
The forward-thinking church also has a crèche during regular service times, with trained child carers, and the hall where worship takes place can accommodate over 80 faithful. The facilities also include a kitchen, storage and a Sunday School room. The buildings is also ‘access compliant’ for those using wheelchairs or with disabilities.
In terms of outreach the church is also forward-thinking. Two Fridays ago the congregation enjoyed a film night and there are ‘special days’ worked into the calendar including a Community Appreciation Day to which representatives from the Council and authorities like the Housing Executive, Roads Service, the Rainbow group and other churches are invited to attend.
Services are on Sunday at 12.30pm and 6pm. The morning service has a separate class for children called ‘Discovery Zone’ and there is a mid-week Bible study and prayer meeting on a Tuesday at 7.30pm, which is more laid back and following a discussion format.
Those who want to know more can log on at www.northwestbc.com or call 028 7122 6164.
ON Sunday, 24th May, the congregation of Northwest Baptist Church celebrated their one year anniversary with special services. In the service, the church watched a photograph presentation of events from the past year. They also enjoyed a cup of tea and fellowship following the morning service. In the evening, many people shared how the church had been a help to them and their family since it started.
The church was officially organized on Sunday, 25th May 2008 under the leadership of Pastor Travis Snode at the Everglades Hotel. Travis and his wife Teri were sent out of Vision Baptist Church in Alphretta, GA and came to Northern Ireland in June 2004. Now the congregation meets at 10 Fountain Street in the city centre. Everyone is welcome to any of the services on Sundays at 12.30pm and 6pm or Tuesdays at 7.30pm.
There are classes for children on Sundays mornings and Tuesday nights and a youth club on Saturday nights from 6-8pm for teenagers. Throughout the year, the church holds fun days, BBQs, youth outings, meetings for men and women, community appreciation days, film nights, and various other events for the community. Because parking is hard to find in front of the church on Sunday mornings, the church provides a shuttle van from the Foyle Road Car Park up to the church for the service.
If you have any more questions or need help in any way, please contact us at 028 7122 6164 or visit our website at www.northwestbc.com.