Free wifi ministry for students and community from Dandridge church

First Baptist Church wants to share internet resources.
Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 2:36 PM EDT
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DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -Reliable, high-speed internet access has become the newest staple necessary for survival during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether for students keeping up with classroom work or for their parents who may be working from home.

First Baptist Church Dandridge is creating a new ministry to provide this high-tech necessity to the nearby community.

Associate Pastor of Worship and Music Chris Headley said the church needed to upgrade its internet during the pandemic to provide more virtual worship options on Sundays.

Church leaders made plans to add the latest fiber-optic internet option coming to the area from the company that installs the utility for Appalachian Electric. Church leaders said they soon noticed the church was not using all the bandwidth available to them, so they chose to offer it to the community.

The internet service helps Carson-Newman University sophomore Kristen Strange, whose parents do not have access to reliable internet. Strange said her parents would rather she go to the church to do her homework rather than a fast-food parking lot.

“So that I’m able to get my work done in a safe place and on time with the internet that I don’t have to worry about if it’s gonna crash or not," Strange said.

The public can pull up and use the internet from the parking lot of the church nearly every day and hours of the week, except for a short time on Sundays when the internet is used to live stream the worship service.

“It’s definitely taken a load off my back. It alleviates a lot of stress,” Strange said.

Parents can also apply online to use a free classroom inside the church for their students who may need internet access.

“We’re trying to reach out to our students and families and let them know that they’re welcome here and we want to do everything we can do provide for them,” said Headley.

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