20 May Big Impact
At the bi-annual AG KidMin Conference, District Christian Education Directors are asked to nominate a children’s pastor/director who has made a BIG IMPACT on the lives of children in their community and especially leaders who have turned obstacles into opportunities. The Big Impact Award in 2020 was given to Jamie Horne, children’s pastor at Sharpsburg Family Worship Center in the Pittsburgh area.
Russ and Jamie Horne planted Sharpsburg Family Worship Center just outside of Pittsburgh twenty years ago. Their immediate impression was a small, impoverished community with a population of 3,357. Sharpsburg is plagued by problems like drugs, alcohol, lack of vision and little opportunity for its residents.
Their journey of ministering to kids began right away as the most striking occurrence they encountered was children roaming the streets, mostly unattended and unsupervised, with nothing to do. Jamie and Russ had a heart for kids and began an immediate ministry to children.
Twenty years later, Jamie and Russ still minister to kids. Jamie began a Wednesday night ministry that includes a feeding program, ministering to approximately one hundred individuals. Following the meal (for some kids, the only daily meal besides a school lunch) Royal Rangers, and Girls’ Ministries programs are offered to meet the kids’ spiritual needs.
Jamie or a member of her team pick up kids directly from the after- school program, at their homes or along the streets to help them be involved in the Wednesday night feeding and ministry programs. All of this takes place after Jamie has worked a full day as an inner- city Pittsburgh public school teacher, rushed home to meet the needs of her own four children and hurried out the door to meet the needs of the kids in the Sharpsburg community.
Additionally, Jamie oversees all the Sunday morning kidmin activities: nursery, preschool, kids’ church and more! Sunday kids’ church is packed with worship, creative messages, kids’ choir practice and even a bounce-house time. They also serve breakfast on Sunday morning.
Their heart is to rescue and restore kids from a life of drugs, alcohol, abuse and impoverished homes. Jamie facilitates an amazing Christmas program; the old church sanctuary (built in the 1800’s) looks like Santa’s Workshop! Through fundraisers, businesses and donations they offer several new gifts to over five hundred children in Sharpsburg.
Other outreach events include a great VBS, Fall Harvest Party, District Fun Arts programs, Kids’ Choir and Kids’ Camp. Jamie fundraises $18,000 – $20,000 per year to bring fifty children and over forty teenagers to our Network Summer Camps. Jamie and Russ say, “Kids in Sharpsburg do not have many opportunities. We want to provide them with opportunities to meet other kids, and especially the Holy Spirit, at our kids’ and youth camps.”
Jamie displays a massive effort in getting kids to camp; she never turns down a child. Kids show up at the church to leave for camp, kids she did not know were coming, kids whose parents sent them without permission forms. Jamie has gone to their home, sometimes stepping over a drunk parent, to pack clothes for kids.
One summer, on her way to camp, she picked up two sisters only to find the address the mother had given her was a storefront. The mother and two girls were living in a car parked in front of the store. Jamie brought the two homeless girls to kids’ camp where we provided clothes and bedding.
The Horne’s live in the heart of Sharpsburg; Jamie’s entire family makes a huge sacrifice for ministry. About fifteen years ago, Russ and Jamie adopted two of Sharpsburg’s “street” kids. This brother and sister, eight and ten at the time, brought the Horne’s family to a total of eight.
We have many children’s pastors, full time and bi-vocational, in the PennDel Ministry Network who are champions for children. Jamie Horne is one that has made a BIG IMPACT in her community. Thank you, Jamie, for making a difference for the kingdom!