By Dr. Roger White
Senior Pastor, Arley First Baptist Church
Special to the Alabamian
ARLEY - One might see something rather different these days on the roads of Arley, Alabama and the surrounding areas. Something that has never been seen before and something quite odd to most people in Winston County. It is likely that most people in Arley and Winston County have not seen an ice cream truck, at least in the 21st century, and for many in their entire lifetime. Pictures are appearing on Social Media and other places and people are talking about seeing something they have never seen before, and we simply want to let everyone know this is real. Yes, Arley First Baptist Church, located in Arley has a working ice cream truck and is using it as a means of ministering to the community around the church.
In Mark chapter 12 Jesus gave us two commandments that should be first on our lists. They are found in verses 30 and 31 which are as follows: ‘And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment, and the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. (NKJV). Verse 31 is the basis of this ministry, loving others as we love ourselves.
It is during the hot days of summer we realize many families struggle just to make ends meet and many are too busy making a living in lots of cases to realize that it’s the simple things in life we too often overlook such as sitting under the shade of some big tree and enjoying the breeze or taking the time to make a freezer of ice cream and sharing with others. That is where this ministry comes in. We want to go through neighborhoods and love others, by giving away ice cream to children and adults alike in the name of Jesus! We have the desire at Arley First Baptist to make a difference in the lives of children and adults and present Mark 12:31 in a living example through ice cream. We want the love of Jesus to be visible to our world and Arley First Baptist Church wants to be one of the conduits through which that love flows.
When this ministry opportunity was presented to the church in January of 2018 at a Vision rally, I asked the question, do you know anyone who wouldn’t accept free ice cream? And of course, the answer was an obvious no, and so the ministry began. We started looking for a truck and found this original 1976 GMC ice cream truck, and the church voted to move forward, purchased the truck and the ministry began. We had the truck wrapped at Signs and Graphics in Birmingham, where we worked with the design department to create the unique wrap, and now in Arley there is an ice cream truck roaming through the community looking for the opportunity to change someone’s life one delicious bite at a time.
As of June 3, 2018, this ice cream truck ministry was officially in action. So, if you see something that looks like an ice cream truck coming through your neighborhood and you wonder if your eyes are deceiving you and could this be true? Look closer and listen carefully, you will hear the music blaring through the air, with bright and vibrant colors. The ice cream truck of Arley Baptist Church just may be pulling onto your street or into your yard.
To find out more about this Ministry go to the church website, www.arleyfirstbaptist.org or contact the office at 205-387-4667.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.