For one year now, members of First Baptist Church in Covington have been meeting on the last Saturday of the month at the Soap Opera Laundromat on Washington Street.
They meet there with a simple purpose: to pray with people and to pay for their laundry. This ministry idea was birthed out of one of our Sunday School classes and has now spread to become a ministry of the whole church.
It all began last February when Ken Horstmann and Jonathan Thomas went to the Soap Opera and began asking people if they could pay for their laundry. It was an opportunity for them to bless someone, but on that first day they didn't have much success.
"Our first day we were only able to pay for one run in the dryer for one person," said Horstmann, who teaches the Sunday School class where the idea was born. He went on, "We stayed there for hours on that first day but people kept giving us strange looks when we asked if we could pay for their laundry."
In the second month, they changed their approach. "In the second month Aaron Poe (another member of the class) suggested that we let the Lord lead," said Horstmann. They asked people if they could pray with them first, and then asked if they could pay for their laundry.
People's guard came down and the ministry was off and running. Pretty soon the word spread and now if you go to the Soap Opera on the last Saturday of the month you better go early. Last month this Laundromat Ministry paid for more than $370 worth of laundry, and gave away truck-loads of food.
For four hours every month a simple laundromat on Washington Street is transformed into a house of worship. People are praying with one another, people are talking about their faith, food is being distributed, and, oh yeah, a lot of laundry is being done.
So tomorrow, if you are free between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., you may want to go down to the Soap Opera. Maybe you have a load of laundry that needs doing, maybe you have a special prayer need and want someone to pray with you, or maybe you just need some community; whatever your need, there will be someone there that wants to meet it.
Jason Dees is senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Covington. He can be reached at 770-786-9031 or www.firstbaptistcovington.com or www.facebook.com/jasondees.