Strong Tower clinics provide medical care

Sometimes getting a tooth fixed can help you hear more clearly — at least that’s what Terrence Jones says.

That’s why his church — Strong Tower at Washington Park, Montgomery — partnered recently with other churches and the North American Mission Board (NAMB) to bring a mobile dental clinic to the area.

“When you have dental problems it affects so much of your life. You have pain, headaches — and because it can affect your heart it can even kill you,” he said. “So when you can take care of that for someone you see people’s demeanor change.”

His hope is that with needs met people would be more open to hearing about the hope they need even more — the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jones, the church’s pastor, said the dental clinic — now in its third year — got started when he was speaking at a church planter meeting at The Church at Liberty Park, Vestavia Hills, and one of the members there — Karen Ott — came up to him with an idea.

Meeting needs first

“She heard our story and wanted to be a part in any way she could,” Jones said. “She threw out the idea of us having a health fair, something to help the community — anything where we can meet tangible needs that give us an opportunity to share the gospel with people.”

He knew the community had some major health needs, especially dental ones that Medicaid didn’t cover.

“We saw this need, and the Lord made it work,” Jones said. 

Ott worked together with Jasmine Turner of Strong Tower to coordinate, and the dream became a reality. 

The first year it was a health fair, and last year the dental clinic was added. 

This year volunteers from Liberty Park, together with dentists from Strong Tower and NAMB’s dental trailer, set up shop for three days at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Montgomery.

Volunteers shared the gospel as they performed $38,000 worth of dental work — 99 extractions and 21 fillings — along with 40 eye exams and 25 medical exams. 

Altogether they accomplished a lot. But the bigger number, Jones said, is that two people gave their lives to Christ and attended Strong Tower the following Sunday.

So many people came through that as hard as they worked, the team still had to turn almost 100 people away, Jones said.

“It was a blessed time but there were just so many needs,” he said, adding that they’re already working to bring back the dental clinic “sooner rather than later.” (Grace Thornton)