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COTTONWOOD SHORES — Even before Hope Baptist Church completes its own permanent church, the congregation aims to help the community with several projects thanks to the influx of about 250 youth from the Highland Lakes Baptist Encampment.

“We want to be part of the solution,” said Brother John Taylor of Hope Baptist Church.

The 250 youth will work in the community June 24-27 at several sites in Cottonwood Shores. Some of the youth (ages 13-18) will assist at the church’s future home on Magnolia, but the rest will spread out across Cottonwood Shores. Other projects the youth will tackle include painting the police station and city hall as well as cleaning up and completing the BMX park. Another group will head to one of the city’s parks to build a nature trail.

“We plan on getting it all done,” Pastor Fred Goff said.

During the morning, some will teach vacation Bible school 9:30-11:30 a.m. in the pavilion at the Cottonwood Shores Public Library, 4111 Cottonwood Drive. The Bible study is open to Cottonwood Shores children ages 5-12, but organizers said older children can attend as well and will probably be asked to assist with the lessons.

The influx of Highland Lakes Baptist Encampment youth helps in several ways. Goff explained his is actually a mission-training program for the kids.

“We’ll teach them how to mix concrete, build things and other skills they’ll need before they head out to other countries and places on mission trips,” he said. “This is a good learning experience for them. They’ll be able to take these skills and make big differences in other places. It’s the first time in Texas this will have been done — having a mission training camp.”

Taylor added that this gives the youth a chance to put their faith in action.

“They’ll see it’s more than just going to church,” he said. “This is a very pragmatic application of their faith.”

The church benefits because they’ll get some assistance at their future home (currently the congregation meets at the Cottonwood Shores library at 10:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sundays), but the Cottonwood Shores community might prove to be the biggest benefactor as it experiences the love of the youth and the gifts of their hard work.

“We want the town of Cottonwood Shores to see that the church is here to make a difference in the community and bring them the love of Jesus,” Goff said. “And these youth, they’re going to be putting that into action.”

Go to for more information on the church and its services.