Entering their third year as an established place of worship, Matthew’s Table, who meets weekly at the Senior Community Center of Owesboro-Daviess County, has embraced both growth and change. A diverse body of believers, the congregation has evolved from 20 members to some 300 and counting.
Given the constraints of the space currently used for Sunday and midweek services, the church finds themselves in a unique and pressing situation.
“For the last three years Matthew’s Table has been a mobile church, setting up and tearing down each week,” Pastor Roger Chilton said. “Often times we miss opportunities due to the restrictions from renting.”
Committed to serving the west side of Owensboro, the inner city outreach has made missional ministry a top priority.
“A permanent building would allow us the opportunity to serve others daily, not just on Sundays,” Pastor Nick Martin said. “This need isn’t just about space, but the ability to do more and serve our community better.”
Continuous areas of ministry currently provided by the church include a weekly bus pass program on Saturday mornings. Volunteers from within the church distribute free bus passes enabling recipients a way to commute despite difficult circumstances. Those faithful to the program have remained committed despite makeshift conditions that often expose them to hurdles such as unforeseen weather.
“I can’t help but be reminded of how great our need is when a rainy Saturday morning occurs, or worse snow,” Pastor Nick Martin said. “We have folks serving despite what challenges present themselves.”
A core component of Matthew’s Table, the element of “community impact” is one that is vitally important to those who attend. Through missional events hosted by the church, residents of the surrounding neighborhood and community have been inspired to create positive change.
Patty Looney is one of them.
“I first visited Matthew’s Table after attending another church where I didn’t feel welcome,” Looney said. “From the moment I first attended I didn’t just feel welcome, I felt loved. These are real people, showing the real love of Jesus.”
A resident of the Cadillac Motel, Looney has felt the need to serve those around her due to the influence of Matthew’s Table.
“I feel certain this is where I’m supposed to be,” Looney said. “I love my church family, I’m there every time the doors are open. This church loves those still addicted, those who feel like they don’t have anybody. I get emotional. I have been encouraged to do what I do daily loving those around me. I invite them to church and share my story often.”
Per the growth of the church, Looney is one of many who have been impacted as a result of its presence in downtown Owensboro.
“Obtaining a facility to call home seven days per week, 365 days a year would greatly impact our ability to see Christ transform the community here in Owensboro,” Pastor Steven Kidd said. “Our desire as a church has always been to extend grace and glorify Christ while doing so.”
Future renovations and plans involving the rented space utilized by the church have begun to circulate, causing a greater concern and need surpassing just high attendance. Thus Matthew’s Table made the decision to go public with their building initiative.
“The Elizabeth Munday Center has been extremely kind to us and afforded us an amazing opportunity to gather there every Sunday for corporate worship and we are forever grateful,” Pastor Roger Chilton said. “From what I understand there are plans to make some changes, and although it may be a while before those things happen, those plans limit us in growing, as well as the times and days we can gather there.”
Chilton further notes how the community can help, adding the task at hand is a “God-sized” request.
“If you have a heart for inner-city outreach you can help. Join us in praying that God provides the perfect place for us in a specific location,” Chilton said. “Spread the word and share this with friends and family. Maybe you are able to find something we simply haven’t thought of or know about. Maybe you or your church would be interested in partnering with us through the usage of a facility or through the funds necessary to acquire a facility. Any direction you may be able to point us in would be much appreciated.”
For more information about Matthew’s Table, visit them at www.matthewstableowensboro.com.