- Baptist Press - https://www.baptistpress.com -

‘Ma’am, Your Spark Plugs Need Changing’

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The study of a Larry Burkett course on biblical principles of financial management led to a new deacon-sponsored ministry at First Baptist Church of Stillwater, Oklahoma.

"As we looked at ways to minister to single women of our church, we found cars were often a cause for concern," said Lonnie Daugherty.

That led to Daugherty and Bennie Trout volunteering the facilities of their automotive centers as ministry sites. The first Saturday the deacons and other volunteers diagnosed and corrected problems on nine vehicles. Routine service such as oil and filter changes and tire rotations were also performed.

Other problems detected and corrected included brakes, brake-signal lights, starters, belts and steering components.

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The women are charged only the mechanics' cost for parts as the men donate their labor to service the autos. This results in oil and filter changes costing only about $8 or $9, compared to more than $20 at other facilities. Labor charges at auto service centers range from $35 to $60 per hour.

One of the women, retired missionary Sistie Givens, labeled the project a "tremendous ministry to us women."

As a retiree returning to the United States from Brazil, she said her car there was far less complicated than her American car. "In Brazil, you can see the ground on each side of the engine, but here under the hood is packed," she observed. "Having someone who can be trusted to work on your car gives you more peace of mind. Besides most of us women don't know a lot about cars, so this is a needed ministry"

Givens also noted that car care is something suited to men, while women have other opportunities to minister.

She was impressed that the volunteers checked out her car and gave her a list of how much longer some of the components will last before needing replacement.

Lynna Robertson, First Baptist Church secretary said she had heard "lots of good reports" about the ministry "The men's efforts saved us quite a bit of money and fixed items we had been putting off," she said, adding, like Givens, that the safety inspection and report gave the women more peace of mind about their vehicles.

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