Bus Them In
by: William Tyson
Several years ago one of our veteran bus drivers, Ashbell Strong, went home to be with the Lord. He loved the bus ministry. He drove our church buses for over 35 years. As he fought cancer, his only request of his doctors was for them to help him get well enough to drive again. The day before he died, our bus workers drove his bus to his house where he was on hospice so he could see it one more time. We sang bus songs, wept and rejoiced in the hope of Heaven. As one-by-one each one said their goodbyes, I soon was left alone with Bro. Strong. I thanked him for his testimony and his love for Christ. I prayed with him and asked him a question that was difficult to ask, but I wanted to know. I said, “Bro Strong, what do you want me to tell our workers at your funeral.” He looked at me, gathered his strength, set up in his bed, and said firmly, ”Tell them to Get to Work!” That’s exactly what I did. At his funeral, I preached a message entitled, “Get to Work!”
In November 2016, at our Annual Bus Conference, those words “get to work” kept coming to my attention. God was burdening my heart to do more for the cause of Christ and the bus ministry. To that end, as I transported Dr. Jeff Fugate to the airport, I shared with him a ministry idea that was on my mind. This was the beginnings of “Bus Them In.” In January 2017, we launched this new ministry. The purpose is simple. We desire to provide buses and support to new churches who are ready and desirous of entering the bus ministry.
This ministry has developed slowly, but we are excited that the first two buses have been donated. The first bus went to a church in North Carolina, and the second just arrived in Alabama this week. The bus ministry is not a ministry fading into the sunset; I believe the sun is still shining bright! Every Sunday hundreds come to church through the bus ministry of WBC! I believe it’s time for churches across America to re-energize in doing the work of reaching this generation for Christ. We bemoan the state of our country and the spiral of immorality and decay, yet do nothing to stand in the gap! Bus Them In is a ministry to do just that! I am reminded of the great quote by William Carey when he said, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”
There are three ways that you can help this ministry. First, you can PRAY! We need God’s hand of blessing. We need his help in selecting the right buses, pairing them with the right ministries, and providing for the needs of this ministry. Second, you can provide FINANCIAL support. We are asking that churches consider taking this ministry on for monthly support or consider taking up a love offering for this effort. Every dollar given goes directly to this ministry through our local church, Woodlawn Baptist Church. Lastly, we are asking for PARTNERSHIPS. As this ministry develops, we are in need of locations available to store purchased buses while they are in transition, expertise in partnering with new churches to help them with those who are going through CDL training, and finally providing encouragement to those getting in this life-changing ministry.
We have a choice to make. We have a generation that is growing up without Christ. We can read about church history, or we can make church history. I don’t know about you, but I want to see God do great and mighty things in our generation. Jesus is coming soon! This is life and death, so let’s KEEP THE BUSES ROLLING!
Woodlawn Baptist Church