Drive-thru prayer ignites spiritual fire in Haley Grimm


DALLAS, Ga. — For Haley Grimm, a stop at a “drive-thru prayer” event last November ignited a spiritual fire. Now, the Georgia woman is excited about sharing that experience with others.

Haley, 20, had been going through a rough patch in her personal life when a friend suggested she come to New Hope First Baptist Church for the outreach. She was unsure at first but ultimately decided that her need for prayer outweighed her reservations.

Haley said she was saved at a young age but was never baptized. Her mother died when she was 14, and in her anger and bitterness she said she put up emotional walls to keep people out.

“I didn’t let anyone in,” she said, “because I didn’t want to get hurt and lose anyone else.”

Last year, when Haley and her fiancé called off their engagement, she found herself descending into bitterness and anger once again. It was at that point that her friend told her about New Hope's drive-thru prayer initiative.

Haley said New Hope members Tommy Leonard and Robby Hall prayed with her and let her know the church would love her and be a safe place for her.

Kate Hobbs, wife of New Hope Pastor Jamie Hobbs, followed up with Haley and invited her out for a coffee.

“We talked about life, love, loss, regret, fear, heartbreak, Jesus, redemption, salvation, and so much more,” Kate said. “She told me she was wanting to join the church, but she didn't really know how.”

After hearing that the only requirement is a professed belief in Christ, Haley made the decision to join and be baptized. She said the need to be baptized had already  been “weighing heavily on her heart."

The church’s support and acceptance gave her the confidence and desire to openly declare her faith, and she was baptized on March 12. She officially joined the church the same day.

Following her baptism, Haley found new boldness and passion.

“She went from being shy, timid and quiet,” Kate said, “to alive, on fire for the Lord, and a shining light in our church.”

Since joining the church, Haley has been an active Christian.

 “She's at every event,” Kate said.. “She's been at all the drive-thru prayer days since, pouring back into the ministry that drew her to New Hope and ultimately closer to Jesus Christ.”

Fast forward to May 24 in Chickamauga, Ga. Dean Spivey, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, had contacted Pastor Hobbs and asked for advice in starting their own drive-thru prayer ministry. Hobbs provided not only counsel but led a team of members from New Hope on the two-hour drive north to provide hands-on help.

Haley was part of the team becasue, she said, she wanted  to be able to help someone the way had been helped.

Haley’s message for the occupants of the more than 20 cars that pulled into Bethel for prayer that day was simple: “There is a way to God, no matter where you are or how far you are.”