Christian singles groups growing
March 20, 2004
BINGO! Members of the Clarke County Christian Singles enjoy a game of bingo called by Peggy Fouch, who, along with Gwen Hayes, serves as coordinator. Seated, from left, are Cindy Nichols, Janice Downey, Owen Hayes, Richard Harper, Peggy Little and Phillip Thompson.PHOTO BY PENNY RANDALL / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Ida Brown / religion editor
One of the fastest-growing groups in America is also one of the country's most unchurched populations.
According to an article published in ChristianityToday, a 2001 Rutgers University National Marriage Project report found that the nation's marriage rate has dropped by 43 percent in the last 40 years.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that single adults and single parents continue to be the fastest-growing household types in America.
Since 1980, single mothers have increased 42 percent, single fathers 99 percent, and people living alone 36 percent compared to married-couple households which only increased 9 percent during the same period.
With such growth and diversity in the singles population, many churches are seeking ways to meet their needs.
Singles ministries is one way churches are addressing the varying needs of the community's singles. While providing a social outlet is important, the overall objective of such ministries is to address their spiritual needs not matchmaking.
The Clarke County Christian Singles and the Single Adults Sunday School Class at Northcrest Baptist Church in Meridian are two such ministries.
Organized in September 2002, the Clark County Christian Singles was the vision of an area resident.
The ministry's purpose is to help single individuals grow, function and thrive as singles in light of their challenges by offering a place for worship, learning, friendship and service.
Meetings are held once a month in the fellowship hall of Living Word Church in Quitman, 500 North Jackson Ave. The format varies and includes presentations by guest speakers, gospel singing or activities such as bingo, cards or movies.
For more information about the Clarke County Christian Singles, call (601) 776-3150 or (601) 776-3062.
Single Adult Sunday
While Northcrest's singles ministry is an extension of the church's single adult Sunday school class, participation is not exclusive to the group.
As a class, the ministry's goal is to minister to those who do not have a church home, or whose church does not have anything specific for singles. It is an alternative for those not looking for the bar scene.
Susan Beaudoin, another member, said the Northcrest group has offered her more than other support groups.
The 20- to 60-plus age group has participated in a variety of activities outside the church, including a weekend camp retreat and white-water rafting in Tennessee. Mid-week Bible studies are also held at members' homes.
For more information about Northcrest's Single Adult Sunday School Class, call 681-6860 or e-mail Mitzie1712@aol.com.