Spraying It Forward

Mel Sparks spraying a church. Source: Baptist Messenger

Mel Sparks is a man on a mission: to help Oklahoma Baptists combat COVID-19.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Baptists in Oklahoma have been pulling their resources together to purchase sanitizing equipment to help churches stay open. Sparks, a veteran Disaster Relief Volunteer for 14 years, works with the Cooperative Program as a sprayer to treat churches in need of disinfection. Since April, Sparks has been on call and has worked to disinfect more than 20 congregations—some more than once.

Using an electrostatic sanitizing machine, Sparks sprays churches with an electrically charged solution that kills viruses and bacteria clinging to surfaces within 10 minutes.

Aaron Reed, a local pastor who used Sparks services said, “We had a visitor come to our congregation who called us on Monday after they were here on Sunday, and they told us they had gotten checked for COVID and tested positive. We decided the best thing to do to ease people’s minds was to disinfect the building.”

Reed remarked that his congregation felt more at ease after the sanitizing process. He has even invited Sparks a second time after another person informed the church they had been exposed to the virus.

A vital ministry for churches, Reed commented, “He [Sparks] was so kind and helpful and concerned. He told me while he was here, ‘I want to do this because I love to help people, and I want to give them peace of mind, and this is one way I can help.’ We would not have been able to afford to purchase a machine like that. It has been huge for our church. We probably would have had to shut down on those Sundays otherwise.”

“I am happy to serve our churches,” Sparks said, “but I do want to encourage our congregations to practice social distancing and to use masks to help protect church members from the spread of the virus. I have enjoyed the opportunity to help and have enjoyed meeting the pastors and seeing how the churches operate.”

Source: Baptist Messenger