Church life

Church life
photo by Kevin Kalunian


Messiah Baptist Church is one of the oldest and most active African-American churches in Brockton, Massachusetts. From youth programs to financial investment groups, the church finds new ways to engage members across generations.
Community service is the foundation of both the church and the members, a quiet tradition spanning decades.
Journalism students at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, enrolled in Advanced Newswriting and Reporting taught by Prof. Maureen Boyle in the Spring of 2016, highlighted some of the service programs at Messiah Baptist Church to give the outside community a glimpse of the work church members do. As part of this class project, students used iPads to shoot photos and videos for the stories.
Special thanks to Rev. Michael Walker, pastor of the church, and everyone at Messiah Baptist for their help with the project. Also, thanks to the Community Based Learning program and Prof. Corey Dolgon at Stonehill, the iPad initiative programs sponsored by the college and Information Technology Department, Stonehill librarian Patricia McPherson and student liaison Liam Dacko for their assistance and support.

Service to community and the church

About Me

These stories and videos were written and produced by students at Stonehill College in the Advanced Newswriting and Reporting course, taught by Prof. Maureen Boyle. Students were supplied with iPads for the semester thanks to a technology grant and partnership with the Stonehill technology department. All of the student videos were shot on iPads and edited with the iMovie iPad app.

Messiah Baptist Church helps people see due to eyeglass program

By Bartley Regan

BROCKTON- Ruth Anderson started an eyeglass donation program at the church after seeing a television documentary on the difficulties people have accessing eye care throughout the world.

Anderson, a deacon at Messiah Baptist Church, started the “Eyeglass Ministry Program” around 1978 at Messiah Baptist Church in Brockton.

She decided to leave a donation box in the church for people drop off eyeglasses and sunglasses.

            Over the years, the program has been very successful and the contributions have been abundant.

            One time a member of the church brought in a bag filled with glasses.

            “I was very excited because it was not s plastic bag, it was a big paper grocery bag full of sunglasses and eyeglasses. Some of them were so nice and I was so excited about that,” she said.

            Anderson brings the donated glasses to LensCrafters, a company that works with “OneSight” to help people throughout the world with vision care. OneSight is an organization that brings vision care to people worldwide by getting professionals to places where people are in need.

According to the OneSight website, one out of seven people worldwide do not have access to eye exams or glasses. With vision centers, vision care clinics, and eye care professionals. OneSight hopes to provide access to 20 million people by 2020.

            Anderson said the church has been very supportive with the eyeglass program. So many people have heard about the project. At the church donations keep coming in with little promotion.

            Anderson said the eyeglass donation project is part of her overall philosophy of helping people. “I have always helped people, especially older people. When I was a kid I grew up learning how to help and I was always willing to help,” Anderson said.

            She remembers one time in 2005 when she was at a deacon’s convention with people from all different states. She left a box filled with donated eyeglasses.

The donations also helped one person in a pinch at the convention, she said.

A pastor told her a woman at the convention borrowed a pair of the donated glasses for the day and had this to say: “I am so glad glasses were there because I left my glasses at home and now I can use a pair of these so I do not have to walk around squinting all day,” Anderson recalled.

The woman returned the glasses to the donation box at the end of the convention.


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