New Life Baptist Church in Miami Gardens has opened its doors to its brand new dental clinic, and has plans for adding space to grow its senior-adult ministry.
Pastor Erik Cummings says they already have their first dental patients scheduled to treat and speak with.
For years, New Life has been among the Florida Baptist churches that has hosted the Florida Baptist Convention’s mobile dental unit. But recently, Cummings thought that having something more permanent would be a better way to serve the community the church serves.
The church’s campus occupies about half a block and, until 2013, it also included a school and a day care. When those entities closed, the church worked through a series of possible uses for the now vacant space. Finally, at the beginning of the year they began remodeling the space for a permanent dental clinic.
All of the dental equipment has been donated, said Cummings, and members of the church in the medical profession will be volunteering their time and skills to the clinic. The dentist involved is DDS Julianna Navarro, who also has volunteered with FBC’s mobile dental unit.
Mike Daily, director of community ministries with the Miami Baptist Association, says Cummings has been “a blessing in helping get the clinic set up.”
Cummings is excited about bringing this service to the community and would like to see it expand to include other medical services.
The senior adults at New Life Baptist Church in Miami Gardens have a very active ministry, and Cummings wants to continue to find ways to support their efforts.
“Most of our churches place such an importance in moving forward with youth that we forget our seniors,” he said.
New Life, by contrast, is planning the rehabilitation of a room and the construction of a gym for the approximately 65 senior adults in its church.
The group meets weekly for lunch, Bible study and other forms of fellowship, and having a designated space within the church would make those meetings more accesible for all members of the group. A gym would also allow them to have a safe space to maintain their health.
Keila Diaz is a Miami-based reporter for the Florida Baptist Witness, the official news source of the Florida Baptist State Convention. She can be reached at (305) 724-0544 or via email: keila.diaz@goFBW.com.