Seventeen different flags hang on the wall in the back of the sanctuary, each for a different nationality represented in the congregation at Potomac Crest Baptist Church off Cardinal Road.
“We have had others too, but when the families move away we send the flag with them,” said James Holliday, the student ministry pastor.
The church certainly has a heart for different nationalities. Their pastor, Douglas Duty just went to Ghana for a pastor’s conference, and Potomac Crest used to host a Ghanaian church in their building as well. When the Ghanaian church grew too large and moved on to its own building, Potomac Crest replaced it with a Korean church.
“We are a very community-focused church,” said Holliday, who is fairly new to the church himself. He said he and his family were impressed by how warmly they were embraced by the church members, even before the members knew that he was interviewing for a position there.
The church allows its building to be used on Tuesday and Thursday nights by the National Foundation for Acquiring Employable Skills which helps people with mental handicaps or other disadvantages to find new potential for employment. The church also holds English as a Second Language classes for those trying to better their English skills. And there is an “open gym” night for seventh to 12th graders (both from the church and in the community) who want to play games, shoot hoops, de-stress and just hang out.
Holliday seemed to take special pride in the youth’s outreach work, both locally and on a larger scale. He said this past summer 22 of their students went to Bluefield, Virginia and West Virginia to serve on construction jobs for families that needed work on their homes: roofing, siding, painting, dry walling, etc.
Another project the youth worked on was to put together backpacks of supplies for the homeless in the local area. Little did they know how quickly those supplies would be needed. Within a week of collecting the backpacks, the September floods swept in, leaving many families in the area homeless. Two families from Potomac Crest were without homes.
The backpacks were quickly dispersed, but the church decided to do more and collected item donations to take to the Dale City Recreation Center where families who had lost their homes were staying.
The church, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary this past summer, is planning a huge “We Love Woodbridge” Fall Festival for October 29 that will be open to the community, with games, food, and indoor and outdoor events.
“This building isn’t just for us,” said Holliday. “It’s God’s building and he’s using it to reach the community.”