Frank Baptist Church Gets A Makeover

Frank, WV – Frank, West Virginia, in northern Pocahontas County is almost small enough that if you blink twice, you might miss it as you travel through. But it’s in this small community that Janet Morrison found her calling after years of international missionary work. Prior to the move to Frank, she spent several years as a missionary in Uganda, East Africa.

“I’m a nurse by profession, so I was doing medical missions over there and started a children’s home” she says “for children who were living in prisons with their mothers.

Unfortunately, traveling the roads in Uganda took a toll on back problems Morrison didn’t know she had. After surgery last year, she didn’t feel that she could return to her work in Uganda.

“My sending church is Walker Road Baptist in Morganton, NC, and the man who originally started Frank Baptist Church was also from there, Larry Wilson” says Morrison. “So, when I came back from Uganda, I just really felt that God wasn’t finished using me in missions, so I just began to pray and doors opened up. To make a long story short, people began saying why not do something in Frank. So I came up here and looked at the building and just felt led to start a family youth ministry here.”

The former Frank Baptist Church will become the Christian Outreach Center. She says the main focus will be on youth, but will also have programs for families in the community as well.

“We’ve renovated this building” she says. “There’s been many churches that have come from North Carolina, from Ohio. It’s no longer a church; we’ve taken everything out, all the pews out, ripped up the carpet, refinished the floors, painted it purple and green for the teenagers. And we now have a pool table, two air hockey tables, two foosball tables, electronic dart board, a set of drums [and] a piano.”

Morrison says they plan to have youth nights where families can gather to play games or watch a movie. They’ll also have open mike nights where residents are invited to sing, play an instrument or even read some poetry. In the warmer months, she says they show movies in the parking lot next to the building. And she says everything will be spiritually influenced.

“You know, we’ll infiltrate spirituality into and in Christ and just give these people some hope; there’s a lot of people up here who feel they have no hope” says Morrison. “We have some food here, we have a small food bank, we have free clothing giveaways several times a year.”

Morrison says their annual free Christmas store is coming up soon.

“So we’re getting ready for the free Christmas store” she says. “This will be our second annual Christmas shopping; people come in and Christmas shop for free. We have clothes and toys, household items, sheets, blankets, that sort of thing.”

If you’d like to donate to the Christmas store, Morrison says financial assistance is always appreciated, as are coats, boots and new or gently used toys. The free Christmas store will be open December 16th through the 18th from 10am to 6pm each day. Morrison hopes to have the grand opening of the Frank Christian Outreach Center in January or February, depending on the weather.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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