Spring Creek church opens day care for rural families
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 15, 2009 1:50 AM
The Rev. Otto Griffin, left, pastor of Spring Creek Baptist Church, and Diane Boatright, director of the new Spring Creek Christian Child Care, opening at the church on Monday, set up one of the classrooms.
Spring Creek Baptist Church has no problem being supportive of missions overseas.
But it also wants to make sure to take care of the mission field in its own back yard -- by opening up a Christian child care for working parents.
"There's some people around here, way out here, that have to carry their kids all the way to Goldsboro and then drive farther to go to work," said the Rev. Otto Griffin, pastor.
The Indian Springs community may seem a distance from town, he said, but for neighboring Mount Olive, Pink Hill and Albertson, it's centrally located.
"Our goal is, we want to make it convenient for people," he said. "We want to work with the people and make it like a ministry, part of their lives as well. We want to serve our community, our Jerusalem, so to speak."
It's been 13 years since Griffin, also a licensed contractor, rolled up his sleeves and built a new sanctuary building adjacent to the tiny cinderblock structure that now serves as fellowship hall. At the outset, he had hoped to introduce a day care, but the idea didn't become feasible until recently.
A modular trailer acquired a few years ago, ideal for classrooms, will become home to Spring Creek Christian Child Care.
It officially opens Monday and will operate weekdays from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.
"We'll be able to handle 32 children -- from 6 weeks old to school age," Griffin said. Preschoolers will attend all day, school-age children as an after-school option.
Diane Boatright, director, said the program will be licensed through the state. The Partnership for Children of Wayne County has also provided support.
"They said they need a day care in his area," she said. "They're willing to help me with paperwork, answering questions."
More than just a baby-sitting service, though, Griffin said it is an opportunity to provide a "genuine Christian day care" with a Christian curriculum.
"It's not just about having a day care -- the whole thing is about the outreach, because you can teach these kids about God and how to do right and everything. So many things we can teach them while we have got them and hopefully we can minister to the parents as well," he said. "A lot of people, you don't know what they need or what you can do for them, until they come and you get to know them."
Considering the small congregation -- Griffin said average attendance runs around 60, although on special occasions like when the Anchormen appear in concert, it can swell to over 200 -- it's an ambitious undertaking to add a day care program.
"God's blessed us where so much stuff has been donated," is Mrs. Boatright's said. "Opportunities have just opened up for furniture, playground equipment."
"These people have a mind, they have a glimpse of the vision," Griffin added of his parishioners.
From small beginnings, the pastor said he is confident that it will be successful.
"Everybody that we have said anything to is tickled to death that we're starting a day care," he said. "I believe within a month, we'll be full."
There are already plans to expand the program, anticipating the number of parents who need care for their school-age children when school is not in session.
"I used to work at another day care, and in the summertime parents wanted something for their kids because they still have to work," she said. "Instead of putting them in a day care doing a regular routine, I'm hoping to open up the fellowship hall if we get it approved, do a summer camp-type thing, get teachers who want a part-time job in the summer, just do a full program for school-age."
While being structured, the summer version would also have field trips and more outdoor activities.
"We have plenty of room," Griffin said. "On the other side (of the sanctuary) we have just bought 1.7 acres. If it gets to the point where the demand is such, we can build another building over there.
"We want to build a gymnasium later. As we grow, we will try to grow with it."
For more information on the child care program, call Mrs. Boatright at 738-5344.