Ministry Goes on Despite Steady Rains in Cincinnati

During the April 4-10 mission trip steady April rains and cold weather prevented the FBCO team from accomplishing as many door-to-door contacts as in previous trips. However, the team still connected with over 200 residents and completed several home improvement projects for local residents, a ministry organization, an Ohio Baptist association, and NAMB (North American Mission Board) on the Cincinnati trip.

FBCO is in partnership with Inspiring Hope Church in suburban Hamilton, a quickly growing community about 40 minutes northeast of downtown Cincinnati. The metro area is targeted by NAMB as one of its SEND Network cities, meaning a priority area for evangelism and church plants.

With help from FBCO, Inspiring Hope Church launched on Easter 2021 in space provided by a pregnancy crisis center in downtown Hamilton. The recent mission trip was FBCO’s fourth to support IHC, and the plans were to canvass neighborhoods to witness for Christ and invite neighbors to IHC’s Easter service. Except for one afternoon, steady rain and cold weather prevented doorstep conversations.

However, during the brief time in a local neighborhood the team touched about 200 homes and had discussions with residents or left door hangars with IHC info.  IHC Pastor Ben Mangrum wasn’t discouraged by the outreach results, saying that seeds planted last year during FBCO efforts were now coming into fruition this year, and seeds planted this year may see results later.

One of Ben’s strategies in touching IHC’s community is to be in the community. Once a month IHC sets aside its Sunday worship service to get into neighborhoods and perform various projects. He also strives through local schools to connect with families by letting teachers, principals, and other staff know IHC will meet needs where it can. (In an earlier FBCO trip, the team helped IHC appreciate teachers by distributing stuffed coffee mugs to staff of a local elementary school.) IHC has started to see families, even principals, in its services as a result.

In the recent trip, FBCO team members Connie Thompson and David Kinder planted crop and floral gardens for a resident who asked for IHC’s help. Brandon Kiesling, Brad Brown, and Mike Smith (in rain and sleet) helped clear another resident’s back yard of overgrowth. The entire team aided the regional Baptist association by painting and cleaning its mission house, a space that has provided lodging for previous FBCO teams.

IHC also partners with local ministries that share its theological mission. Half the team took a morning to organize and clean space at IHC ministry partner HYPE, an after school mentoring program for young people.  A bit of landscaping work was also done to NAMB’s local missionary house, which is being prepped for sale.

Team member Debbie Harvey commented, “God is so amazing! He handpicked each of us for this trip. He brought us together knowing our hearts of service to Him. The presence of the Lord was upon us the entire trip.”

Prayer requests from this trip include: positive resident responses to connections made, a new space for IHC–which must vacate its current location by the end of June, strength and endurance for Ben and Brittani Mangrum as they lead IHC and plan their own household move in June, and that additional leaders will emerge within IHC.

FBCO plans to return to Hamilton for continued work in mid-October. To join the team, contact missions pastor Brandon Kiesling at