Recognized for their excellence in furthering Presbyterian mission, three new worshiping communities have been named winners of the 2013 Sam and Helen R. Walton Awards.
- Bare Bulb Coffee is a vibrant, growing, multicultural new church development in Warner Robbins, Georgia, in Flint River Presbytery. One of the flagship projects of the 1001 new worshipping communities initiative of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Bare Bulb serves hundreds of individuals who have no connection to a church, many of whom have become engaged in this community of faith. Bare Bulb engages in weekly mission projects that include a seven-day-a-week shelter for homeless individuals and providing weekend meals to more than 60 children who live in conditions of chronic poverty.
- Iglesia Presbiteriana Nuevas Fronteras continues to be transformed as it serves a growing number of immigrant families in Plainfield, New Jersey. This missional worshiping community, which became a chartered congregation of the Presbytery of Elizabeth in March 2013, has grown from 35 to 145 and represents 16 countries of North America, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Working to share the love of Christ with the homeless and marginalized, Nuevas Fronteras recently partnered with the Guatemalan consulate to serve more than 1,000 immigrant families over a two-day period.
- The primary mission of New Vision, in the Presbytery of Western North Carolina, is to reach out to those who have left the institutional church and help them find their way back to faith. When Iglesia Emanuel congregation joined them last year, it became a bridge between the Anglo and Latino communities in Conover, North Carolina. New Vision now has 97 covenant members. It celebrated four adult baptisms and added 34 new members, 17 from the Latino community, in 2012.
The Mission Development Resource Committee selected each winning community for its excellent work of furthering Presbyterian mission in its community. The Presbyterian Mission Agency endorsed the committee’s recommendations at its recent board meeting.
The Walton Awards were established in 1991 as part of a $6 million gift from the late Sam and Helen R. Walton through the Presbyterian Foundation. This gift included an endowment of $3 million. The earned interest is to be used by outstanding new church developments for site acquisition and capital improvements.