Editor’s note: This story originally ran on Inside The Pew on Nov. 20, 2009. Visit the Greater Sixty Aid Baptist Church website at www.greatersixtyaidbc.org.

By Tamikia Jones
Inside The Pew

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Rev. James Barrett Sr. is in the midst of bringing God’s word to the Gardere community and the city of Baton Rouge. After all, he is part of a historic congregation that has done so since 1876.

Barrett’s road to Greater Sixty Aid is a journey of sacrifice, the husband and father of two said. He traveled around the country for 13 years evangelizing. Concerned and tired of the wear and tear on his body, Barrett said her started his own Bible study in December 2007, where he established a following that are still with him today.

In January, Barrett, together with the congregation, celebrated his acceptance of pastorship over Greater Sixty Aid.

The church is located at 655 Gardere Lane in Louisiana’s state capitol.

“Everything just flowed,” Barrett said.  “I have to attribute everything to God, He ordered my steps,” he said as he reflects on his coming to Greater Sixty Aid.

The pastor said education is an important element of ministering to people.  Make no mistake, Barrett places the same emphasis on his own education, which is why he is constantly researching and reading ensuring that he provides his congregation with good information.

“It’s important to understand what and why you believe,” he said. “Theology shapes people’s lives,” Barrett said. “Pastors are shaping how people think, and you do not want to give out bad information.”

Barrett said his preaching philosophy is to provide empowerment, encouragement, forgiveness and healing.

“Church is not a place to come to get beat down, we all need to be encouraged,” he said.

Not only is Rev. Barrett touching the lives of the members and guests of his church, he said his future plans include reaching out to the surrounding Gardere area. That is weighed down by drugs, high crime, and low-income families.

Barrett also has a passion for helping children. Greater Sixty Aid has recruited personnel to organize Boy and Girl Scout troops. They have also brought in an instructor for liturgical dance, he said. Moreover, two computers have been donated in effort to develop a small lab.

Currently lending a much-needed hand to the surrounding community is the Food Bank Program that is run by the church. The ministry issues multiple boxes of food and
toiletries to qualifying low-income families.

“The Christian walk and salvation is not just an experience of God, it’s a sense of renewed commitment to live a better life in truth, to share that knowledge and an appreciation for God.”

By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

Apartment Life CEO Stan Dobbs recently received some good news. Fortunately, for nine out of the past 10 years, he has received this good news.

“It has become common place around here,” Dobbs said with pride.

The Hurst, Texas, company – founded in 2000 – was one of 38 companies in the United States and Canada named the Best Christian Workplaces Institute’s Best Christian Workplaces list.

Apartment Life is not the only Texas business to make the list. 89.3 KSBJ, a contemporary Christian radio station in Humble, is also honored.

“We are ecstatic that we have been able to provide a workplace for people who believe and love the Lord,” Dobbs said. “BCWI is a great tool to assess how you are doing in terms of providing a Christian culture in the work environment.”

Through its CARES program, Dobb’s company partners with apartment management companies to create community building strategies within complexes. The teams, which include couples and singles who are professed Christians, reside in apartment complexes to specifically bring people together and make a difference in the lives’ of the residents. Dobbs said the company works with 350 complexes nationwide and 120 throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

BCWI, which began in 2002, is an independent, non-profit research organization that surveys employees of Christian organizations to determine how well they are doing. The confidential questionnaire asks about job satisfaction, commitment, Christian witness, the effectiveness of supervisors and management, personal growth and development, teamwork, communications, along with pay and benefits.

Al Lopus, president of BCWI, said these organizations exemplify best workplaces because they create healthy environments that engage their employees in a fun and meaningful way while making a difference for their communities

“We salute the leaders of this year’s Best Christian Workplaces for their intentional efforts to create healthy, flourishing environments for their staff. These courageous leaders pursue the high calling of being a faithful steward of their staff as well as those they serve, in good times and bad.”

The program conducts surveys in U.S., Canada and Australia. All participating organizations have a stated Christian mission and/or values. The 2012 list includes:

American Bible Society – New York, N.Y.

Apartment Life – Hurst, Texas

Ben Lippen School – Columbia, S.C.

Beulah Alliance Church – Edmonton, Alberta

Briarcrest Christian School – Memphis, Tenn.

Calvary Church – Grand Rapids, Mich.

CapinCrouse LLP – Greenwood, Ind.

CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach)- Pittsburgh

Christian Family Care – Phoenix

Christian Leadership Alliance – San Clemente, Calif.

Church Web Works – Renton, Wash.
Community Bible Study – Colorado Springs, Colo.

Compassion Canada – London, Ontario

Concordia Publishing House – St. Louis

English Language Institute/China – Ft. Collins, Colo.

Focus on the Family (Canada) Association – Langley, B.C.

Free Will Baptist Bible College – Nashville

Grace University – Omaha, Neb.

Heritage Christian Academy – Overland Park, Kan.

HOPE International – Lancaster, Penn.

Joni & Friends – Agoura Hills, Calif.

KSBJ – Humble, Texas

Lake Ann Camp – Lake Ann, Mich.

Logos Bible Software – Bellingham, Wash.

Lutheran Church Canada, Alberta/BC District – Edmonton, Alberta

MOPS International – Denver

Olivet Nazarene University -Bourbonnais, Ill.

Phoenix Seminary – Phoenix

Samaritan Ministries – Peoria, Ill.

Santa Fe Christian Schools – Solana Beach, Calif.

SpringHill Camps – Evart, Mich.

The Navigators – Colorado Springs, Colo.

Third Millennium Ministries – Orlando, Fla.

Upward Sports – Spartanburg, S.C.

Wheaton Academy – West Chicago

Whitworth University – Spokane, Wash.

Willow Creek Community Church -Chicago

World Harvest Mission – Jenkintown, Penn.