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MHS Heroes: Big Things Come from Small Places

Taylor Stephens

Taylor Stephens

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Marshfield, Mo – Serving the community is an important focus for Pastors Joshua James and Dave Bartz, who not only pastor at Destiny Church Marshfield, but have dedicated their lives to being great disciples of Christ. Both of whom know and believe that God came to serve and not be served; they carry this attitude with them and are always looking at ways to serve others. To show the love of God through serving and providing for families in need in our local community, James and Bartz rallied together with their congregation at Destiny Church Marshfield to hold Operation Backpack. Operation Backpack is just one of the many ways this organization gives back and helps those in need. This annual event is held to provide families with back to school needs, such as; school supplies, vision screenings, haircuts, immunizations, etc.

While Destiny Church Marshfield is a small campus that meets in the Marshfield Community Center every Sunday morning, that doesn’t mean it is incapable of a big impact. Operation Backpack is a huge event that originated out of Destiny Church’s main campus in Republic, MO. When the Republic campus launched the opening of the Marshfield campus three years ago, Destiny Church recognized the need is everywhere and wanted to bless each locations’ local community. James and Bartz were first in line to get Operation Backpack up and running in Webster county by organizing the event, promoting, gathering volunteers, and supplies needed.  

This last year over 2,000 Marshfield and Webster county citizens attended, giving away around 750 backpacks full of school supplies. Destiny Church also recognizes that those in need of help are sometimes ashamed of that and that kids can be embarrassed by it as well. So, keeping that in mind, to make this fun for the kids and lessen the feeling of embarrassment, this event is set up to be a family day of fun. Last year, Operation Backpack was held July 31, 2017 and not only allowed the kids to pick out their own supplies, but included face painting, inflatables, food, and water fights. Being a volunteer at this event myself, I was able to see first-hand the beneficial impact this small church has on the community.


Taylor: “How’d you make Operation Backpack known to the community?”

Pastor Dave & Josh: “The first year we hung up banners around town, and posted on social media. The years after it just became an expectancy from the community.”


Taylor: “What’d you want the benefit of Operation Backpack to be?”

Pastor Josh: “Serve the community. School supplies can get expensive, so we wanted to serve the community in a way we knew it’d make an impact, and share the name of Jesus with them.”


Taylor: “How many backpacks did you give away this year?”

Pastor Dave & Josh: “Around 750.”


Taylor: “What gave you the idea for the backpacks, haircuts, and screenings?”

Pastor Dave: “Again it goes back to the needs of the community.”


Taylor: “Do you think you could’ve done this without the help of the church.”

Pastor Josh: “Yes it could be done, because there are other non-church organizations that do it, but it’s the Jesus element that sets us apart.”

Pastor Dave: “There’s no way we could’ve done this without the help of the church.”

Taylor: “Is Operation Backpack something you want to continue?”

Pastor Dave & Josh: “Yes definitely, we will too. This year we’re taking a little bit of a different route, but definitely.”

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School
MHS Heroes: Big Things Come from Small Places