Harvest View Baptist Church to raffle student survival baskets
REXBURG – Harvest View Baptist Church wants to help Brigham Young University-Idaho students get through the semester.
And to do so, the church’s minister Pastor Russell Martin set up a booth at a recent Experience Rexburg event where students signed up for a college survival basket raffle. He also hopes that students will sign up for another giveaway to be held in November to help students get through the semester.
“It’s to give them a little bit of a push for the end of the semester. It’s to let them know that somebody’s thinking about them,” he said.
It doesn’t concern Martin that he’s helping students from another religion, but says he does so because they are all children of God. He recalled being a student and how difficult it was at times.
“I remember when I was in college and people gave baskets out,” he said. “I remember how it helped me make it through the day.”
Because Brigham Young University-Idaho is such a huge part of the Rexburg community, Martin wanted to serve students attending.
“We want to let people know we’re here for the college students as well,” he said. “If they ever need anything, we’re here for them.”
The Harvest View Baptist Church came to Rexburg about 18 months ago. It meets at 10:45 a.m. every Sunday at the Marriott Hotel. About 20 people make up the church, and, occasionally, BYU-I students attend worship services.
“We’ve had a couple come to figure out what a Baptist is, and to see what we’re doing,” he said. “We’ve had good conversations. They’ve been very, very cordial and have been very, very nice.”
Martin says that he’s not intimidated by Rexburg’s large Mormon population and says that he’s here to help everybody in the community. He also believes God sent him here to help the under-served and those who don’t belong to the Mormon church.
“For the people who aren’t LDS, there’s that sense of community that they need,” he said. “There are still people we can reach that the LDS may not be able to. We can reach out to a smaller community and be more homey so to speak.”
Martin says that his church members visit from throughout the region and from St. Anthony, Rigby and Lewisville.
“We’re finding we’re needed,” he said.
In the time Martin has been here, he’s found the Rexburg community very welcoming. He’s yet to meet a mean-spirited person. He often found that in Colorado where he served prior to moving here.
“I haven’t encountered that, and I am very, very grateful for that,” he said. “Really, we’re just here to serve as much as we can.”
The church recently held a car wash where they washed 70 cars. They also hosted a cookout where they fed around 220 people.
“Really, it’s just giving back to the community,” he said.
Originally from Georgia, Martin is married to Erica Martin, and the two are parents of Ezekiel, 6, and Ryder, 2.
Martin encouraged students to sign up for the November student survival basket. He said if there’s enough interest that he may consider another such giveaway in the spring.
For more information on the church and the basket giveaways, log on to www.harvestviewbaptist.com or call 208-313-4756.