Foraker youth give back to community
Youth members of Foraker United Methodist Church are giving back because their group has been blessed by their community and church.
A new building, 3,000 square feet for youth activities and community events, has been constructed beside the rural church. Across the street, an outdoor basketball court and playground were built as well.
In turn, youths are volunteering to do community service projects as a way of saying thanks and sharing their Christian witness in Foraker, located in Bartlesville District. One day, they worked at the local cemetery, putting fresh coats of paint on the entrance sign, a cross in the middle of the grounds, and on corner posts and fencing.
"They did this in the 30-miles-per-hour wind on a Wednesday evening," said Sheila Wilhelm.
The youth group also hopes to paint playground equipment at Grainola’s community park. And they are connecting with the Shidler Chamber of Commerce to explore projects there.
In late 2009, the new Youth Fellowship Hall was dedicated in memory of a young mother and church member, Krista Stierwalt, and her family accepted a memorial plaque. Stierwalt, who died in a car accident, is remembered as a strong force in getting the youth group started.
The Reed family donated the land that the ball court and playground occupy. Community gifts provided for the court surfacing and goals as well as the equipment for the playground.
Some worshippers travel 40 miles to attend the Foraker church. "Many refer to the survival of our church as God’s miracle on the prairie," said member Melvin Reed.