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New ministry aiming to help with life’s problems opens in downtown Savannah, hosting open house on Sept. 10

Diane McGee, left, and pastor of Riverview Baptist Church, Allen Guyer, stand in front of The Open Door, a new outreach center to help people with life’s problems.

The Open Door outreach center is hosting an open house this weekend.
The Open Door is a ministry outreach center of Riverview Baptist Church that opened its doors in downtown Savannah this August.
The center is a new project for Diane McGee, who is a ministry facilitator for women at Hardin County Jail, and Allen Guyer, pastor of Riverview Baptist Church in Savannah.
Guyer said they took their time and turned to God for guidance on what to do with the building that was donated to the church.
“The building was given to us by Dr. Howard Thomas and his family. We knew of the ministry operating in the local jail for women that is led by Diane and wanted to continue offering them a safe haven with classes to address their various needs, but we still needed to figure out what exactly we wanted to do. So, me along with the congregation of Riverview Baptist kept praying on how to use the building before deciding to use it as an outreach ministry,” Guyer explained.
McGee said the prayers led them to the decision to provide ministry services to more than just women.
“We have parenting classes, which men also attend, Battle of the Mind class, which is a biblical-based study that helps people deal with any life controlling problems they may be facing, youth classes for teens, children classes and weekly worship services, and the classes and services are for anyone who would like to attend,” McGee said.
She said she knew the parenting classes were important based on her work with women at the jail.
“Women often lose their children because of drugs and the court system requires them to take parenting classes in order for them to regain custody. The same is true for men. We work with the court to offer these classes while also focusing on the importance of God and scripture. When parents realize what they have done to lose custody of their kids, it is often a wake-up call for them to address their problems,” said McGee.
She also explained that the Battle of Mind class is for anyone with problems affecting their lives, not just addiction.
“We use scripture to help address any life-controlling problem that people deal with. We all battle some type of problem that is controlling our lives. It may be food, it may be anger, it may be a lot of different things. We use scripture to help people deal with their minds so they can overcome any problems they are facing,” McGee added.
Guyer preaches the center’s worship services on Wednesday nights.
“We have music from church members along with the services. Attendees also receive a meal. The services allow for those who are used to coming to the building to continue to so. It is a safe place for them. Additionally, the midweek night services are available downtown for those who may have to work or who are otherwise unable to attend church on Sundays,” he said.
“The mission for Riverview Baptist in using this resource is all about love. Love for God, love for others, love for all. We want to tell people that in a world full of bad news, there’s good news with the word of Jesus,” he added.
Both McGee and Guyer stress that the center operates as an extended outreach program.
“Our mission is not just for people who have been in jail or for those battling addiction, it is for everyone. Everyone is welcome here for worship and to receive help. So many people have problems and through the power of God they can be helped,” McGee said.
“If a spiritual person is right with the Lord then it is going to help with every other area in their lives, both mentality and emotionally,” said Guyer.
McGee also wants people to know that the outreach center’s mission is all about God.
“Readers should know that this is not about us, it is about God, God to be glory ” she exclaimed.
Guyer said Psalm 115:1 supports this point.
The verse states, “Not to us Lord, not to us, But to your name give glory, because of your mercy, because of your truth.”
Guyer added, “God provided the building, and our church family confirmed what the building should be used for through prayer. It is God’s will.”
The Open Door outreach ministry is at 150 Guinn St., Savannah, and holds its parenting and other classes on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Worships services are at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays.
The open house is on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 10 a.m. The celebration starts at the Savannah Courthouse gazebo, 465 Main St., for a 20 minute worship and music service. Attendees will then proceed to walk to the Open Door and can explore the center, see the renovations, and learn about the services provided.

1 Comment

  1. Melissa Roland on September 7, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    Praise God! I am so happy that more people are understanding our community needs!

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