Women's Missionary Union (WMU) 

AREA OF SERVICE:  St Louis, Missouri
AREA OF  RESPONSIBILITY: PASTOR AT FAITH COMMUNITY CHURCH WITH OUTREACH TO INNER-CITY SAINT LOUIS. The inner-city church is positioned to maximize the gospel in the city AND influence for gospel transformation.  Inner City is the area near the center of a city, especially associated with social and economic problems:
  • The ice cream cone originated at the World’s Fair in St Louis in 1904. A man was selling waffle like pastries while someone else nearby was selling ice cream in a cup. The man selling ice cream, ran out of cups so the man with the waffle pastries offered his pastries rolled into cones and the ice cream was put into these cones and the ice cream cone was born.
  • The St. Louis arch is the tallest monument in the United States. Also, called the gateway to the west. The arch is 630 feet tall. In comparison, the statue of liberty is only 305 feet tall
  • Jefferson City in Missouri was named after the third president of the US and Missouri became the 24th state.
  • State bird is a bluebird, State dessert YES! ICECREAM! The State instrument is the fiddle and State insect is the honeybee
Background Our story today tells how the Byrd’s felt called by the Holy Spirit to serve the inner city of St. Louis. They felt not only led to plant a church in an area burdened with high levels of poverty and crime rates, but also felt led to plant their lives there with the goal of truly living and loving their neighbors. They stepped out in faith, not knowing yet the shared meals, group cooking lessons, and even trips to the grocery store would become pathways to building gospel centered relationships, reminding their neighbors God has not forsaken them. Michaels calling felt elusive to him at first, but as he recognized God’s guidance every step of the way, the vision became richer, and joy quickly followed.
 Michael says reading Titus 1 gave him deep encouragement to know why he was at the inner-city and why he would stay there.  This letter is from Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. Paul said, I have been sent to proclaim faith and knowledge of the truth.
At FAITH COMMUNITY church the Byrd’s also show Jesus’ care and genuine love by going into their community and having block parties- knocking on doors, prayer walking and bible study.  God is growing the church. Traci also serves on the worship team and their son Michael Jr. Helps with the sound system.
The Byrd’s consider it a priviledge to serve their community of Jennings Missouri. Michael starts every day in prayer. He says prayer is key and the Bible tells us we are to always pray. Prayer has strengthened Michael and Traci’s boldness to share their faith and God has given them courage to be disciples as well as make disciples. Michael also encourages his church to pray.  He says if we are not a praying church, dissolve us Lord!
He and the leaders of the church designate specific times to pray together as a church body. Michael says, Every Monday, Wed and Friday at 6:30 in the morning we are meeting to pray. On wed eve from 6-7 we are praying. Every Sunday at 10:15 we are praying.
They have had many answered prayers and have experienced the strength God gives them to continue in serving and laboring for the Gospel of Jesus. They are encouraged when they see God answer prayers like more men are leading and being better examples in their homes, and how the Lord has bridged age differences at the church, The Byrd’s are growing in their communication with each other in their own marriage and with others in the community through prayer.  
  • That God would continue to give them a clear strategy to disciple the saved and evangelize the lost.
  • That they would be able to solidify deeper relationships within their community and find some open doors with their local school district.
  • That God would grow the two church planters they hope to send out in the next 12 to 18 months and the planters would be able to develop teams to reach the lost in the areas they are called to serve.