First Baptist Church recognized for service

First Baptist Church of Marietta was recognized on April 6 for its service to children in need around the world. For more than five years the church has served as an official collection point for Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that delivers millions of gift-filled shoeboxes to children affected by war, natural disasters, disease, famine, poverty, and persecution in more than 100 countries worldwide. Thousands of shoebox gifts packed and donated in Marietta each year are collected by volunteers at First Baptist Church.

“It takes a tremendous effort to get shoebox gifts into the hands of millions of hurting children each year, and our church partners play a vital part,” said Franklin Graham, President of Samaritan’s Purse. “On behalf of the children who receive these gifts, we thank everyone who makes it possible.”

The award was presented to the church as a whole to their supportive Pastor, Chad Muggeridge, and to Bunk Hall, the capable church member who heads up his team and the project on a yearly basis.

“Operation Christmas Child is excited to formally honor First Baptist Church of Marietta for their dedication and five years of service,” said Bonnie Freeman, Great Lakes regional director for Operation Christmas Child. “Reaching millions of children each year with the good news and great joy of God’s love would not be possible without these wonderful ministry partners.”

More than 84,000 churches and groups in the United States partner with Operation Christmas Child to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to millions of needy children around the world. Around 4,000 of those churches serve as collection points for the project. Through Operation Christmas Child, kids, families, and groups fill shoeboxes with items like toys, school supplies and hygiene items, creating gifts that can make a significant difference in the lives of hurting children around the world.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Since 1993, the organization has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 113 million children in more than 100 countries, in 2014, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 10 million children.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call Area Coordinator Eileen Sagraves at (740) 588-9588 or visit National Collection Week for gift-filled shoeboxes is Nov. 17 to 24; however, shoebox gifts are collected all year at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C. or can be packed online at