The congregation at West Orlando Baptist Church gathered to collate Bibles to further spread God’s word in African countries.
To onlookers, it must have looked like the congregation at West Orlando Baptist Church was engaged in a fun game around multiple tables. They were having a good time; however, their goal was loftier than winning a rousing game of Spoons or Jenga.
About 300 volunteers spent their Friday night in the new sanctuary lobby collating the pages of 10,000 Bibles to be shipped to missionaries in Africa in an effort to further share the Word of God.
Pastor Kenric Barnett joined the large team of children, teenagers, young adults and seniors that had assembled for the Hands-on Mission Project. Twenty-four stacks of pages were set up on each table, and volunteers repeatedly circled the table, creating a full Bible with each pass.
The Bible and Literature Missionary Foundation, in Shelbyville, Tennessee, is dedicated to printing, producing and shipping Bibles to continents around the globe. Churches around the country typically send representatives to the Shelbyville facility to volunteer their time assembling the Scriptures.
But Barnett was thinking bigger — he requested the pages of 10,000 Bibles be shipped to Ocoee to be put together by an entire congregation. BLMF assistant director Shannon Lemmon said this is a first for the project.
“They’ve never had a church do 10,000 in one day at one church,” Barnett said. “People typically go and do it there. I couldn’t take our entire church to Tennessee, but I wanted as many people as possible to participate. I said, ‘If you send it to us, we’ll put them together.’”
Barnett said someone even donated the cost of the freight to get the pages to Florida.
The theme of this week’s missions conference at West Orlando Baptist is “Hands-on Missions.”
“We can’t all go to Africa, but our goal is to have every one of us putting our hands on the Bible,” Barnett said.
After the pages were collated, they were stacked on 14 pallets, to be shipped to Georgia for the next step in the process — the binding and the covers.
Barnett said one of the church’s missionaries will deliver a shipping container full of Bibles to Africa.
“There’s about 177 missionaries, and some of them travel about 400 miles to pick up Bibles, like from Kenya and Sudan,” Barnett said. “He goes to one church, people hear about it, and they come to this one church and get the Bibles and take them back to their villages.”