Stacy Walker and husband Donnie are longtime members of Eastmont Baptist Church. Stacy is a mom of 5, a spiritual mom of many more, and the self-described 1J2 mom. The Walker family started 1J2 Ministries in 2014. Although 1J2 has been a large part of our summers at Eastmont for 5 years, you might not know where it all started or the impact it has had on our church, our community, and our students.
Around 7 years ago, Stacy Walker went on a youth mission trip to Anniston, AL with some of her children. They partnered with Renovation Ministries that week. Renovation’s mission was simple: to reach people for Christ in the areas of Anniston that were largely forgotten and ignored by putting on backyard Bible clubs for children in these areas.
Stacy caught the vision of Renovation and bought into it wholeheartedly. Over the years, she and her family would go to Anniston regularly to serve. It didn’t take long before God had convinced Stacy that this ministry needed to be duplicated in her hometown of Montgomery.
After talking with her family and other church members who shared her vision of bringing the heart of Renovation Ministries to Montgomery, planning began and 1J2 Ministries was created with a focus on Hyde Park, a neighborhood less than 5 minutes from Eastmont.
The name 1J2 comes from 1 John 2:2 which says “He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins, and not only our sins but the sins of all the world,” and that message is exactly what 1J2 strives to share with the children and families in Hyde Park.
“1J2 is the perfect example of our church being THE Church,” says Mackenzie Battaglia, a graduating senior of Eastmont who has taken part in 1J2 since it began.
This year marks the 5th year of 1J2 Ministries. Things have changed over the years, but the mission has always stayed the same. Instead of doing back yard Bible clubs for 3 weeks each summer, 1J2 is now just one week each summer. Other short-term ministry opportunities have also come about over the years. However, Stacy and others have been flexible to keep the ministry going because they see the importance of it.
“As long as there are people who need to hear the Gospel in these areas, and as long as God continues to give us a heart for these families, I want to continue building relationships, sharing about Jesus, and seeing the Church grow,” says Stacy.
Over the years, we’ve seen relationships made between Eastmont and families in the community. We’ve seen incredible friendships formed between the unlikeliest of people. Most importantly, we’ve seen children accept the Lord and grow up bringing friends to Bible clubs to encounter the Lord.
The goal of 1J2 has always been to reach the community for Christ. However, the people of Eastmont might be the ones who have been impacted the most.
“From door-to-door canvassing, leading bible study, or simply just playing with the kids, 1J2 has given me more confidence and experience in sharing the gospel both in word and in action,” says Mackenzie.
A generation of Eastmont youth has grown up being a part of local missions at Hyde Park through 1J2. They’ve learned to look for opportunities to serve in their neighborhoods. They’ve developed a love for the lost in their communities, and they’ve learned what it means to live on mission.
For Stacy, “1J2 is a blessing that I wouldn’t trade for anything, and it’s a blessing I know will continue to grow!”
Thank you Eastmont family for being the body of Christ. For 5 years now, you have supported 1J2 Ministries through prayer, donations, service, and more! This ministry could not happen without you. Let’s continue to be a church that serves selflessly, that loves endlessly, and that gives abundantly!
To learn more about this ministry and others at Eastmont, click here.
This post was originally written for Eastmont Baptist Church and was published on June 12, 2019.