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.

Youth Ministry Stays Active in Community

By Emily Casey

            Behind the church podium, two rows of children dressed in their Sunday best sang in perfect harmony to the lyrics “I am not forgotten, God knows my name.”
            Each of the young choir members sat anxiously, scanning their eyes through the pews to find their parents who waved encouragingly before each performance.
            Youth choir is just one of the many ways that the youth ministry is involved within the Messiah Baptist Church in Brockton.
Photo by Emily Casey
            “Every area of the church is open to them,” pastor of Messiah Baptist Church, Michael Walker said.
            The children in the youth ministry are the stars of the Sunday youth services that happen every second Sunday of the month, where they take on the varying responsibilities of the service.
Youth ministry members lead the readings, announcements and prayer, as well as serve as ushers. All the while, the children’s choir sings throughout the service and dance ministry prays through gospel dance. Others have jobs outside of the youth service that work to benefit the community, such as tellers at the church’s credit union.
            “They are learning and incorporating emancipatory hope,” Walker said. “They see themselves as God’s agents so that they can correct and right the racist, homophobic, sexist and classism in the community and work towards changing those things.”
            According to Walker, there are around 30 kids involved in the youth ministry program, ranging from ages 6 to 18.       
            Minister Veronica Truell oversees the youth ministry program and preaches during the youth services, often using lessons that will inspire the positive community that youth ministry promotes.
            Truell said she tries to relate her lessons to the young people that surround her so they can “connect more directly to it.”
            “They are being compassionate to the most vulnerable members of our society, and that is what is most important,” Walker said.


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