About 15 Monroe County kids are able to participate in the children’s AWANA program at New Providence Baptist Church every Wednesday thanks to a dedicated Monroe County school bus driver.
Melissa Reynolds of Forsyth, who with husband Tim has four children, has been driving a bus since she got her CDL about 10 years ago.
She said she noticed that many of the children on her bus could use some direction and spiritual instruction, and asked them if they’d like to go to church.
“They were super excited,’ said Reynolds.
So in August, Reynolds began driving a church bus route every Wednesday right after she finished her after-school school bus route.
Reynolds she said finishes her school route around 4:30 p.m. and then drives to New Providence Baptist Church to take the church bus on basically the same route, Ensign Road, West Main Street/Hwy. 41 and Sunset Terrace. About 15 of her bus riders are waiting for her in front of their homes. Church member and former Monroe County Rec director Keith Edge rides along as a monitor.
At AWANA, they learn Bible verses, play games and have fun.
The church’s pastor, the Rev. Brian Moore, said he’s thrilled about the new bus ministry.
“I think it’s fantastic,” said Moore. “The kids who ride her bus get excited about her coming back to get them. They look forward to Wednesdays.”
Moore said one child who wasn’t ready when the church bus arrived on Wednesday made his mom take him to church herself.
“He said it was the highlight of his week,” said Moore. “It shows how important it is to those kids. In the grand scheme, driving the bus may seem like a small task. But the kingdom impact on the lives of those children is incredible.”