Enon Baptist Church resurrects a nursery

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 7, 2012

By Katie Scarvey
Elsie Bennett calls it a “resurrection.”
The church’s nursery needed some attention, to make it a more inviting place, so Elsie and a few other women at Enon Baptist Church contemplated what could be done in 30 days, instead of just three, to honor Jesus and strengthen the church.
“The Lord laid it on our heart to bring more young families to our church,” Elsie said — and that meant attending to the facilities that young families would be most interested in.
The nursery area is comprised of five rooms, including a kitchen area, a bathroom and three classroom areas. In the past month, Elsie, Jamie Warden and Melissa Eichner — who served as the head artist — along with Elsie’s daughter Ashley, have spent hundreds of hours transforming the space with paint and a vision.
Enon’s pastor, Rick Warden, says that the church aspires to build a strong children’s ministry.
“We’re looking forward to seeing our children’s ministry grow,” he said. “We wanted to find an innovative and creative way to share Bible stories.”
The new Bible-themed murals are a kid-friendly way to accomplish that goal. The scenes feature such stories as Daniel and the lion’s den, Jonah and the whale and Moses’ parting of the Red Sea.
About 20 gallons of paint have been purchased for the project, but church members also brought in leftover paint from their homes and used that when they could, sometimes mixing colors to create new ones.
Elsie said she was surprised by how much paint the cinderblock walls soaked up — and how long it took to do things.
“It’s amazing how much time it takes to paint a little tree,” she said.
Still, she says, it’s been a labor of love. Some nights, she, Melissa or Jamie would be at the church until midnight working, she said.
Ashley, 13, said it makes her happy to know that the young children will be in a more inviting environment at the church.
All new flooring will be installed, and the counter area in the kitchen will be replaced, Elsie said.
“It will be new, top to bottom.”
The women’s circle has collected brand new toys for the area, Elsie said.
“We want people to feel comfortable here. It’s not just babysitting. For some churches, the nursery is day care. But we want to share the gospel at their level.”
The church already has a strong youth group, Elsie says. Enon’s student pastor is Duane Herman, who is working with six other churches in the area on an upcoming endeavor called “Disciple Now,” a service project that will take place on the first week of May.
And now, the church is optimistic that it will be able to attract more families with young children so its strong youth ministry will continue in the years to come.
“This has been a huge undertaking but the rewards are to be so very sweet,” Elsie said.
By Saturday — today — everything will be finished so that the new nursery area can be showcased during an Easter festival.
The Enon Easter Egg Hunt and Festival is today from 10 a.m.-noon at the church, located at 1875 Enon Church Road. It will include an Easter egg hunt, a visit from the Easter bunny, live rabbits, the Easter story, food, face painting, hair feathers, crafts and games for the children.
The community is invited to come to enjoy the free event.