YOUNG HARRIS — The Statler Brothers and the Gaither Vocal Band have recorded “Little is Much When God Is in It.” The chorus of the hymn is …
Little is much when God is in it. Labor not for wealth or fame,
There’s a crown and you can win it, if you go in Jesus’ name.
The little lad who gave his small lunch to Jesus found out just how much of an impact his little lunch had when the Master broke the five loaves and two fish and fed 5,000. He discovered that little is much when God is in it.
Woods Grove Baptist Church in Young Harris is not a big church and Pastor Scott Sims serves bi-vocationally, but together they are making a significant impact for the Lord in their Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and even to the uttermost parts of the earth.
Sims lives in Winder, but drives to Young Harris whenever necessary to fulfill his duties as pastor of Woods Grove. Sims stated, “We average 35-40 in Sunday School and 60-70 in worship. The majority of our people are senior adults who have grown up in Towns County and been faithful to the Lord and Woods Grove for many years. The church also has some younger families who grew up in the area and some are visiting the church.”
Hospitality bringing returns
Woods Grove backs up to beautiful Lake Chatuge. Because of that, many drive their recreational vehicles from south Georgia and Florida to spend time in some of the RV parks/campsites nearby. Sims explained, “We get a good many of those visitors to come and visit our church. We have built some good relationships with the vacationers who come to our area. Our church goes out of their way to make them feel welcome. The hospitality and love shown by our people has resulted in some people uniting with our fellowship and others coming on a regular basis.”
Sims grew up in Winder and accepted Christ in Sharon Baptist Church in the Mulberry Baptist Association. That is also where he got baptized, met his wife Stephanie, was married, and called to preach. The couple has two daughters and a niece that lives with them, who Sims considers a third daughter.
In October 1995 Sims was called to Ivy Creek Baptist Church in Buford as associate pastor/youth pastor and remained there until he was called to Woods Grove in May 2011.
Sims and his dad own Trim-Co Exteriors, Inc., a home improvement company based in Winder. Scott enjoys partnering with his father in their business. He commented, “I have always been a bi-vocational pastor and probably always will be, if the Lord doesn’t see otherwise, because I love my job.”
Scott’s dad, Doyle, has also pastored churches bi-vocationally over the span of 25 years, but is currently teaching Sunday School at Ivy Creek.
A call that resonated
Sims has taught his church to have an Acts 1:8 missions ideology. He explained, “We are engaged in local missions work and also provide monthly support for the Safe House in Towns and Union Counties – a Women’s Shelter for Domestic Abuse. We take backpacks to Appalachia for our Samaria outreach. For the last two summers we have raised the funds to purchase two motorcycles for HIM Ministries in Zambia, Africa so their local pastors will have transportation for their ministries. We also provide shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.”
Woods Grove’s response to the call for backpacks for Appalachia is particularly noteworthy. Sims remarked, “When the Georgia Baptist Mission Board explained the need for the backpacks it seemed to resonate in the hearts of our people. We have chosen to partner with the First Baptist Church of Mousie, KY. I found out that First Baptist – the only Baptist church in Mousie – was doing backpacks for the children in the Jones Fork Elementary School just down the road from the church.
“Mousie is a coal mining community,” Sims added, “and has struggled for many years to keep that industry going. We found out that the Jones Fork School has 155 students enrolled and we are going to donate enough backpacks to make sure every student has one. We are also taking extra supplies and extra backpacks along with some other donations that have been given.”
More than willing
Sims added, “I have been going to southeast Kentucky since 2004 and engaging in a variety of mission projects, including construction assignments and hosting booths during the local fall festivals where we handed out free water, popcorn, Bibles, and prayed for those in need.
“Jamie and Rachel Reynolds, Mission Service Corp volunteers from Montgomery, AL, moved there after they retired from the police department in Montgomery and began ministering to the people in the area. Jamie is now the director of missions for Three Forks Baptist Association and the one who connected us with the Baptist church in Mousie.
“Our people at Woods Grove are some of the most generous I have ever been around. Our people realize they may never be able to go to the foreign mission field or even the Appalachian region, but they are more than willing to make it possible for someone else to go with the supplies and prayers they need.”
If a church with an average worship attendance of 60-70 can provide 155-plus backpacks for needy children in Appalachia then Georgia Baptists could potentially provide a million backpacks for the underprivileged in the name of the Lord.