Highland Baptist collects school supplies for less fortunate in area

Staff photo: Vanessa Kahin Debbie Montoya, homeless shelter manager for Lighthouse Mission, inspects donated school supplies Thursday at the Lighthouse. The supplies are distributed to children in the area.

Staff photo: Vanessa Kahin
Debbie Montoya, homeless shelter manager for Lighthouse Mission, inspects donated school supplies Thursday at the Lighthouse. The supplies are distributed to children in the area.

By Vanessa Kahin

Staff writer

vkahin@cnjonline.com

He’s only been pastor of Highland Baptist Church for three months — but Kevin Welborn is already involved in the church’s years’ old tradition of helping local children in need get a solid start on the school year.

For years, Highland Baptist has helped collect school supplies, and this year, the church’s effort will last through July. The items, which are collected at the church, are in turn given to the Lighthouse Mission — a Christian-based nonprofit that provides those in need with everything from furniture to clothes; from warm meals to a safe place to stay.

“We just use what they (donate) to help out as many kids as we can,” said Richard Gomez, director of Lighthouse Mission. “We usually help out the families who come in who don’t get help anywhere else.”

Gomez said there is no particular giveaway day for the school supplies; families in need may contact the Lighthouse at any time to get assistance.

Any type of school supply is accepted, Gomez said. Aside from Highland Baptist, members of the community may also donate at the Lighthouse.

The price range of toys should be about $10, Welborn said, and should be unwrapped.

Staff photo: Vanessa Kahin Debbie Montoya, homeless shelter manager for Lighthouse Mission, inspects donated school supplies Thursday at the Lighthouse. The supplies are distributed to children in the area.

Staff photo: Vanessa Kahin
Debbie Montoya, homeless shelter manager for Lighthouse Mission, inspects donated school supplies Thursday at the Lighthouse. The supplies are distributed to children in the area.

Originally from Mount Pleasant, Texas, Welborn came arrived in Clovis on April 1.

His appointment as pastor of Highland Baptist marks the first time he’s served as a pastor. He was previously the youth minister at Mount Pleasant’s South Jefferson Baptist Church.

Welborn said he attended East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas; completing a major in religion.

After some time as a youth minister, he said he felt called to lead a congregation as a pastor.

“I just felt that God had called me to be in the ministry,” Welborn said. “I felt like He was calling me to be a pastor.”

Welborn attended Liberty Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia, and continued to serve as a youth minister until he was appointed to Highland Baptist.
Welborn moved to Clovis with wife, Cara, and daughters Bonnie, 4, and Hannah, who is 18 months old.

“I like Clovis,” Welborn said of his new home. “It looks a lot different than Mount Pleasant, Texas, but it still has a family atmosphere.”