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Clearview Baptist Church Pastor Cory Knepshield speaks with Southaven city employees (from left) Bryce Archer and Marco Resendiz over breakfast at Jim Saucier Memorial Park in Southaven. The church’s Compassion in Action team provided the breakfast outreach to Southaven city workers.

The first part of the Bible verse found in Romans 12:7 says, “If your gift is serving others, serve them well.” A Southaven church has taken the message of serving others especially to heart when considering those who serve us as a community.

Clearview Baptist Church, located at 3345 Goodman Road East in Southaven, has reached out in a special way to local law enforcement, first responders and city employees through a program called Compassion in Action, or CIA.

On the heels of a sermon series, several members of the congregation take part in the community outreach program that provides acts of service to others, especially those most people sometimes forget about in local government.

Recently, it was about serving breakfast to city employees, police, fire and first responders who found their way to Jim Saucier Memorial Park next to the Southaven City Hall.

“All in all, a good turnout this morning, a very open reception from those who serve us,” said Clearview Baptist Church Pastor Cory Knepshield. “We don't expect anything in return. We’re not looking for that to be a platform of favor. We just simply want to serve.”

Between preparation, planning and presentation, as many as 40 church members were involved in the breakfast.

While church members hope their interaction with others might lead to a discussion about faith, Knepshield said their purpose is more about action instead of just words.

“We believe strongly in evangelism and that is very important and ought to be the central theme message of any church,” Knepshield explained. “However, we’re also supposed to serve. I think sometimes we as a mobile society get used to doing church, showing up and being there and not actually serving. We’ve tried to and have encouraged our people to put into practice some of step of good works in our community.”

The city workers who came out enjoyed the free breakfast that featured doughnuts, coffee, orange juice and other food items. It was a treat that has been done for the City of Southaven before and one of a number of activities the church has done.

“We’ve done this same thing with other cities, Olive Branch in particular,” Knepshield said. “We have done more specific CIA activities with the fire department and the police department themselves, things as simple as washing their cars and serving them. We got involved with DeSoto Central High School and served a meal to their ball players to also be an encouragement to them.”

He added other things are planned to minister in a broader fashion.

“It’s just an opportunity for us to show the love of Christ to the community, to give back to our community to those who serve us and try to be an encouragement to them,” Knepshield said. “We want to make a difference to them like they make a difference to us.”

Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

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