Locally and globally, A Little Faith Ministries is meeting the needs of others by following a God-centered path of service.
Stephanie Little, daughter of A Little Faith pastor Leonard Little and project manager of the church's outreach ministries, said the organization is a church and a ministry, and seeks to provide "whatever anyone needs."
A Little Faith Ministries, she said, started in 2012, when it opened at its first location near Six's Corners. The idea to start the church, she said, formed after her brother passed away in 2011. Previously, she said, her brother and father had started a local food ministry, and the desire to continue that dedication of service to others became A Little Faith Ministries.
Little said she and her family "want to bless others like God's blessed us," and one of those blessings, she said, came in 2013 with the provision of a new building for the church and ministry, located at 230 S. Washington St.
The new location, which formerly was home to Washington Street United Methodist Church, became available after Washington Street UMC and Ebenezer United Methodist Church merged and became Faith United Methodist Church.
The Rev. Donna Van Trees, pastor of Faith UMC, said the church, upon merging, opted to remain at 75 N. Sandusky St., the Ebenezer UMC building. The location, she said, was the newer of the two buildings, and offered more space and parking for the larger, combined parish.
The merger left the Washington Street building vacant, she said, and options were considered for the location to be used in some way for the "betterment of the community."
Van Trees said Tiffin Tomorrow showed interest in using the property, but was unable to secure the necessary funding. God then opened the door, she said, for A Little Faith Ministries, and Faith UMC voted to gift the property to A Little Faith.
Van Trees said everyone at Faith UMC is "excited" the South Washington Street property is being used for ministry, in service to God.
"That's the most important thing," she said.
A Little Faith Ministries transitioned to its new location in October, and Little said the gift of the South Washington Street property was the answer to prayer. Her family "prayed for a building" that would allow the organization to expand and provide the services, worship and outreach they wanted to offer in the community, she said.
With the transition to the new building complete, Little said 2014 is a year full of plans and growth for A Little Faith.
Locally, she said, the church is planning to begin an after-school leadership program, which would provide help with homework, life skills training and physical fitness to school-aged children who have few options after and before school hours. A Saturday morning kid's club also is being considered, she said, in addition to an interactive online Bible study.
A Little Faith, Little said, also is planning to become further involved in global leadership activities. She said the church is partnering this month with a Kentucky parish to travel to Uganda to minister to orphans there, and already is involved in ministry work in the Philippines.
Also, one of their ministry's programs, Myra's Mountain Shoes, provides items to the needy in Appalachia.
According to the church's website, other outreach activities, which are being provided by A Little Faith Ministries or are in the planning process, include parenting education, financial workshops, jail ministry, pastoral care, Bible studies and fellowship, and Praise Kids, which features music and theater arts.
Little said a Gospel Jam also takes place at the church the last Friday of each month.
Also, Little said, the clothing and food outreach programs at the church serve the community with everyday needs and as needed with disaster response and relief efforts.
The food bank at A Little Faith Ministries, Little said, is open the last Wednesday of each month, and clothing resources are provided each Friday. A special opportunity with the church's clothing outreach, she said, is the chance to serve men and women at nursing homes and children in foster care.
"As God opens the door (for ministries)," Little said, "we run with it and God blesses it."
She said the church continues to work to bring the community together, in addition to reaching out to other local churches to help bring unity and enhance service opportunities.
Little said the new building also offers a fellowship hall for weddings, receptions, memorials and other events, and those seeking to use the space do not need to be members of the church.
Sunday worship at A Little Faith Ministries, according to its website, takes place at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., with Sunday school at 10 a.m. and Praise Kids at 11 a.m.
More information about the church and its ministries and outreach programs can be found at www.alittlefaithministries.org.
An open house, Little said, is planned for the spring to celebrate the ministry's new S. Washington St. home, but details about the event have not been finalized.