Providing assistance to people in need is the aim of First Baptist Church's Arms Around Arkadelphia ministry.

Providing assistance to people in need is the aim of First Baptist Church's Arms Around Arkadelphia ministry.
According to David McAllister, coordinator of Arms Around Arkadelphia, the ministry will complete its 14th year of service to the Arkadelphia community this week.
Although several area churches are involved, McAllister said the services are coordinated primarily by First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia.
“We do home repairs for individuals who have needs in the community,” said McAllister.
Most of the services are provided free of charge to low income, elderly or disabled individuals.
The materials needed to make the home repairs are paid for by donations from individuals and churches in the community.
"First United Methodist has a fundraiser every year. Some of the proceeds from the Fat Tuesday celebration go to support this," said McAllister.
In addition, grants were received from the Walmart Foundation, Home Depot Foundation, Ross Foundation and Clark County Community Foundation to help provide the necessary resources.
"We have some businesses who either provide us with a discount or with the material," McAllister said.
The ministry has 20 projects scheduled for this year and has completed approximately more than 200 projects.
This year's projects consist of roof repairs, porch and deck repairs, painting, ceiling repairs, door installations and wheelchair ramp installations.
"We do simple plumbing repairs. If you have a leaky faucet or if your toilet is leaking, we'll try to fix that," McAllister said.
According to McAllister, projects are received through word-of-mouth, referrals from various agencies and organizations and calls to the office of First Baptist Church.
Once a referral is made, someone with the organization contacts the person in need to schedule a home inspection. An assessment is then done to make sure the organization can accommodate the person's needs.
McAllister believes this ministry is good for the community.
"What we are doing here is trying to fill a hole. Available services don't cover what we are doing," said McAllister.
While there are various programs that provide assistance to medical care, meals and rent, McAllister said there is little assistance to help address the needs of a person's home.
"We feel like we are filling a need here that is really not covered by any kind of government system. We are trying to do it as a Christian organization. We feel that our responsibility as a Christian is to find needs and try to fill those needs," McAllister explained.
For more information on this effort, or to make a monetary donation, contact First Baptist Church at (870) 246-5587.