Spring Creek Baptist receives $1.25M grant

Free Press staff report | 3/7/2024, 6 p.m.
Spring Creek Baptist Church in Moseley has been awarded a $1.25 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help strengthen ...
Spring Creek Baptist Church Pastor Kenneth D. Cooper and wife, Dr. LaKeeyna Cooper. Courtesy of Spring Creek Baptist Church

Spring Creek Baptist Church in Moseley has been awarded a $1.25 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help strengthen families through Christian home visitation. The project is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative. The aim of the initiative is to help parents and caregivers share their faith and values with their children.

“The Christian Home Visiting Initiative is a program centered in embracing and sharing our faith with our children, said Dr. LaKeeyna Cooper, Spring Creek’s project director for the initiative. “We know that all learning begins in the home and parents/caregivers are children’s first and most important teachers.”

However, understanding how to disciple our children may be extremely daunting or challenging for families, she added.

“Families often question whether they ‘know enough’ or feel they have enough biblical knowledge to take on what can feel like a daunting responsibility.”

Dr. Cooper believes that parents and caregivers are well equipped and have the capacity to help their children have a whole and healthy spiritual life.

“As a church community it is imperative that all our families know and understand how to direct children in a way that help them see the value of a life walking with God,” she said. “To that end SCBC has created a program specifically designed to: Build strong relationships and partnerships with our Creek families, build our families capacity to create impactful spiritual practices with their family, and seek feedback and guidance on how to better engage Creek families and create church programming that meets their needs.”

“The church is fundamentally about its people rather the physical structure,” said Kenneth D. Cooper, pastor of Spring Creek. “Within this community, the family is acknowledged as a crucial pillar. Emphasizing the importance of family time, it is deemed primary and sacred, requiring careful protection, respect, and deliberate cultivation.”

Having served as Spring Creek’s pastor for five years, Pastor Cooper was instrumental in securing the Lily grant.

“The church seeks to establish a cultural environment where the significance of family is recognized and actively promoted, ensuring that family moments are upheld with reverence,” he said.

“It is my belief this grant was awarded for such a time as this when families need the spiritual support of the church within their homes,” said Dr. Cooper, who also is Pastor Cooper’s wife.

“This grant is transformational through its ability to model the missional work of Jesus through teaching, emphasizing love, extending compassion, and community engagement. Contemporary models of missions suggest relevant churches move beyond their walls of brick and mortar and faithfully move into the community where our sisters and brothers reside.”

Lilly Endowment is a private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business,

Eli Lilly and Company. Lilly Endowment launched the Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative in 2022 because of its interest in supporting efforts to help individuals and families from diverse Christian communities draw more fully on the wisdom of Christian practices to live out their faith fully and well passing on a vibrant faith to a new generation.

Spring Creek Baptist Church is one of 125 organizations that have received grants though the Christian Parenting initiative.

Many of the organizations are rooted in Black church, Hispanic and Asian Christian traditions.