Bennett Chapel Church: “SAVING A GENERATION” through adoption and the demonstration of God’s love for children.
Possum Trot, Texas isn’t even a dot on the map. It’s hidden from the world in the piney woods of rural East Texas. But this is the neighborhood for an amazing church, Bennett Chapel, full of a congregation who walk by faith, not by sight. Bennett Chapel Baptist Church is a small church in the small 300-family community of Possum Trot. The members are common ordinary people with extraordinary faith. With the guidance of Bishop W.C. Martin and his wife, Donna, the church is full of compassion toward one another, towards their community and to the world around them. As a church, they realize that to change this world, hearts need to be changed one at a time. They are people who have opened their arms to the least of these and loved children who had no voice, children in the foster care and adoption system of Texas who had not had a chance to be loved and cherished.
The story began in 1997 when Bishop W.C. and Donna Martin and her sister Diann Sparks began a process which ultimately changed their lives forever. They started adoption classes in order to adopt and foster children who were in great need of loving homes. Diann adopted two boys, and the Martins adopted and fostered four children. Very soon others at Bennett Chapel took up the challenge of ministry in adopting and fostering children who were in great need of loving homes. At the present 25 families have adopted 80 children and there are more classes being held for parents preparing to adopt children. Not one of these beautiful children have had to be returned to the state; they are all in loving and caring homes. Under the guidance and strong leadership of Bishop W.C. and Donna Martin, these families are providing love and life to these high-risk children and the youth in the community who may need to overcome many problems. As a pastor in the community, Bishop Martin speaks boldly about the Christian responsibility to these children who have suffered so much in their young lives.
This story has been told many times with the help of Oprah Winfrey, 48 Hours, 700 Club, Renovate My Family, and now with the book Small Town Big Miracle sponsored by “Focus on the Family.” It is a compelling story of faith and love and a community that is united in its purpose to serve and enrich the lives of children and their families in Shelby County, Texas. In 2005, Renovate My Family (Fox Network) built a community center for the children and families. Pineywood Outreach Center is part of the Bennett Chapel Family Ministry and is a center for the children and families of Possom Trot and all of Shelby County. As Executive Directors of Pineywood Outreach Center, Bishop W.C. and Donna Martin have provided programming for the youth and their families of Shelby County including family and parenting support, food distribution and emergency services, mentoring, after school and summer programs, tutoring, Vacation Bible School, basketball camp and now additional adoption classes.
As you explore our website we hope you will be inspired by our story and by the children and families of Possum Trot, Texas who are part of the Bennett Chapel Family Ministry.