LaGRANGE — Matt Bishop of Faith Baptist Church co-founded a program to address a need that he said can easily be overlooked.
Bishop and fellow church member Heath Wynn founded Veterans of Faith in April. The program’s stated purpose is, “Vets helping vets combat the hidden wounds with fellowship and spiritual guidance while helping all vets realize they are not forgotten,” according to the VOF Facebook page.
Group members are seeking to get their message out to fellow veterans and community residents by hosting a car wash benefit 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Beachwood Furniture Outlet parking lot behind Chick-fil-A on Commerce Avenue.
“We’re hoping to raise donations to help get our program started and to generate interest from other veterans,” said Bishop.
The car wash is free for military veterans, and residents are encouraged to donate any amount of money to the ministry program. Bishop said that all proceeds from the car wash will help kick start the program and recruit new members.
“I met Heath, who is another member of the Marine Corps, here at church and we both just realized that there was a burden that some veterans have,” said Bishop. “We want to bring in veterans like that and show them how faith can carry that burden.”
Bishop served two tours in Iraq in the Marine Corps as part of an engineer battalion. He said that when he came home from duty, he noticed that many veterans had a void to fill.
“A lot of guys will fill that void with drugs and alcohol, but we want to show them that you can fill it with faith,” said Bishop. “Many veterans will only talk about their issues with other veterans. We’re here to listen to those men and women and help them.”
He also noted that the group is not just meant to act as a means of support for suffering veterans, but that VOF is a means of fellowship between servicemen and servicewomen. Bishop said that the group’s regular meetings on the first Saturday of every month always include a meal for everyone attending.
“We get together and share a good meal and have a good time fellowshipping with each other,” said Bishop. “Everything we do is centered around Jesus. It’s a great thing that all kinds of veterans can come be a part of.”
Veterans of Faith meets 6:30 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month inside the cafe at Faith Baptist Church. To learn more about Veterans of Faith, visit the group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/vetsoffaith.
Donny Karr is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2154.