Eastown Ministries

Jim & Carol Carpenter

Address:

610 Benjamin Ave. SE
P.O. Box 151
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Phone:

(616) 785-2721

Email:

carpenjim@juno.com

Mission Organization:

InFaith Missionaries to Inner-City Grand Rapids, Michigan
Villanova, PA

Sending Church:

Alpine Baptist Church, MI

 Bio:

Jim is a 1980 graduate of Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music which has since merged with Cornerstone University. Jim received an MRE (Master of Religious Education) degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary in 1995 and was ordained. He has served as a volunteer Chaplain with the Walker Police Department for three years now. (Because of Jim’s experience as a Chaplain he is seeking God’s guidance to minister to others facing crisis and death situations.)

Carol is an LPN at the Christian Rest Home where she has worked for 15 years. She has been “on-call” now for several years usually working two days per week. She also attended Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music for a year.

We are area missionaries with InFaith, a home mission agency out of Villanova, PA (formerly American SS Union & American Missionary Fellowship). In the past we were with Baptist Mid Missions and spent one year in Haiti after a year of language school in 1988. The Lord called us to missionary service while attending Bible School. At that time, God planned for us to grow our family and to grow spiritually. Our sons Sam, Ben and Abe are now happily married and attending and serving in good churches. We have five wonderful grandchildren, two in Chicago and three in Texas. July 7, 2013 marks our 40th anniversary!

Our sending church is Alpine Baptist where we have attended since 1997. Carol recently started a small group of children called “Young Levites” at Alpine Baptist Church. They lead the congregation in responsive readings every several months. Jim provides occasional pulpit supply for the Pastor, counsels young couples and performs weddings. We both have a prayer ministry between church and Sunday School for anyone needing extra prayer. Jim also witnesses and prays with people he meets at the fitness center where he is a member. He also visits and mentors young men from our youth ministry who commit crimes and become incarcerated.

Job Description:

We have been the Directors of Eastown Ministries Youth Center since 1999. We are known as Pastor Jim and Mrs. Carol. We are reaching inner-city Grand Rapids “at-risk” youth with God’s Word. Our programs have been year around (until recently) and meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Special events are worked into the calendar. SportsPower is a Christian HS Boys basketball program held during the winter. We have had a team for three years. Basketball is also provided at an area church gym after Mid-Pointe and Teen Hour. It is popular with the boys and gives them incentive to memorize Bilbe verses which is required in order to play.

Our age groups are K-5th grade, 6-8th grade, 9-12th grade. Attendance runs around 25 in each program. Our “Fun-Night” for K-5th grade includes Games, Singing, Prizes, Bible Memory and Bible Lessons with transportation to and from our Center (transportation is a new service we began in the summer of 2012). Mid-Pointe, 6-8th grade, involves Game time, Bible Memory, Bible Lessons heavy on application, Basketball and transportation. Teen Hour focuses on Bible Memory and Bible/Life Lessons often using PowerPoint and You Tube Christian music and illustrations. Boys play Basketball afterward and given transportation home. The Teen Girls (Girls of Grace) meet for a girl-time Devotional and “Active-Praise” while the boys play ball. “Active-Praise” involves worshipping God through reverent music and movement.

Eastown Ministries has many volunteers for which we are most grateful. Two dedicated couples have served with us from the beginning. Our Adult Bible study has also met every Tuesday since 1999 consisting primarily of African American adults from the area. Two precious saints have recently gone home to be with Jesus. Three of “our kids” who grew up under our ministry now attend this group.

Looking to the future we are praying for an enthusiastic younger couple to take a leadership role with the youth. We could then have a supervisory role allowing us to pursue other areas of ministry.

God has blessed us in so many ways and has been faithful in leading us forward for Him. To God be the glory!!