Currently in Georgia, faith-based social service providers get no funding from the state, but that may change if the faith and family services amendment passes this legislative session.
First Baptist of Thomasville and First Missionary Baptist Church are two of several churches in the area that provide social services to the community with the help of donations. Now, help may be on the way.
Gov. Sonny Perdue says faith-based social service providers should be able to receive state funds just like non-faith-based service groups.
"Any extra help that can come in through the governor’s plan can be a great help to the church community," said Dr. I. L. Mullins, Sr. of First Missionary Baptist Church.
Perdue plans to reintroduce the faith and family services amendment in the upcoming legislative session, allowing faith-based social service providers to compete for state funds. Residents say the amendment would be a big benefit to the community.
Dan Spencer with the First Baptist Church of Thomasville added, "Faith-based programs have been shown over and over again and proven to work. When somebody finds hope in Jesus Christ and learns the truth about how to deal with the problems of their life, it works wonderfully."
A two-thirds vote in the House and Senate is needed to put this issue on the November 2006 ballot. Then Georgia citizens will make the final decision.
On another note, faith-based social service providers in the state of Florida receive financial help by applying and competing for specific grants.