'Merry Christmas, Athens!' kicks off the season for Beech Haven members


Women from one of Beech Haven's Sunday school classes delivered cookies to local businesses as part of the church's community-wide outreach, Merry Christmas, Athens! BEECH HAVEN/Special

ATHENS — Members of the Athens business community were treated to a sweet surprise at the start of the Christmas season as Sunday School classes from Beech Haven Baptist Church delivered baked goods to their doorstep.

And that wasn’t all. The individuals also cleaned their bathrooms and fanned further out into the community to provide services for local residents.

Athenians had their burned-out light bulbs replaced and new batteries inserted into smoke detectors. Coffee and hot chocolate was given out in front of the Toys ‘R Us, a party was given for employees of Georgia Square Mall, and a choir sang Christmas carols for shoppers.

Members of Beech Haven Baptist Church assemble Christmas baked good for distribution to one of 15 businesses near the Athens church. BEECH HAVEN/Special

A desire to reach out

But wait, there’s more.

Church members also surprised residents with dirty clothes on Dec. 10 by handing out quarters at a local laundromat.

It was all part of the church’s first “Merry Christmas, Athens!” outreach.

“This all came out from a desire to reach out into our community and do something for business owners, shoppers, and residents,” explained Adam Wynn, pastoral assistant for ministry and missions. David Mills serves as pastor for the congregation.

“The concert inside the Mall added to the festive shopping mood by sharing both carols and the gospel through song. It also gave our Sunday School members an opportunity to interact one-on-one with shoppers and introduce them to our church.

The nearly 270 volunteers were identified with matching t-shirts emblazoned with the theme logo.

“We had a really good time building relationships with the community and businesses while providing a practical ministry opportunity for our members. Families waiting for their children to visit with Santa also heard the gospel through the choir’s music as they performed nearby.

“It was a great way for everyone to get in the Christmas spirit,” he added.

Athens, Beech Haven Baptist Church, Merry Christmas Athens!, outreach