Madras Church in Newnan, Ga., is a church plant working to live the ways of Jesus outside of the walls of the church building. They have a mission to transform lives by building community among people of all races and cultures and empowering people who have been marginalized and those with disabilities. Madras Church received a 2022 Equipping the Local Church Grant for an initiative to work with local organizations and schools to begin a mentoring and tutoring program for after-school projects while, at the same time, offering ESL classes for the migrant community in the city. To date, Madras Church is the only location offering ESL classes in the city of Newnan.
Pastor Fede Apecena emailed us recently to celebrate,
“The grant has been put into a great use and already has helped us to became a catalyst in the City of Newnan. As part of our diversity and empowerment program we have created an amazing ESL Class, the only one in the city of Newnan that is open to absolutely everybody and is a yearlong program…. Because of our program, The Goodwill Career Center asked us to partner with them to serve the needs of the community with our faith at the center.”
Their church plant includes several families involved in the local school system, working with people with disabilities, doctors and more. Madras Church is committed to serving in areas where there are gaps in community support. Their focus is on empowerment of diverse people – working to feed and be fed physically, intellectually, and spiritually. They admit it is a process, not a one-time event; the goal is not ONLY to help those in their community but to build life-changing relationships and friendships by sharing the love of Jesus.
Madras Church is growing and wants to do more. Already, the partnership with the Goodwill Career Center is expanding. In January, they will begin offering an additional ESL class to allow more people to attend. They were also aware of the need to provide sign language interpretation to be a welcoming place for the deaf and hard of hearing community, a community often inadvertently discriminated against among churches. Each of their worship services includes simultaneous sign language interpretation, and on September 17, they will be training specialists on becoming a welcoming church for people with disabilities.
In closing his email, Pastor Apecena shared, “Your help opened the door for our church to areas that no other churches have been able to do.”