By Griffin Ray
Since 2016, But God Ministries has had a strong influence in Jonestown, Mississippi, as well as in various parts of Haiti. Their work in the Mississippi Delta has already made a large impact on the community as they are working to build Jonestown into a thriving populace while spreading God’s Word. One of the first priorities for BGM’s movement in the Delta is the health and safety of Jonestown citizens, which is why their dental clinic is vital.
Founded in 2011 by Stan Buckley, BGM is a Christian nonprofit focused on building sustainable communities that can unite together from their love of God. Five years after its conception, Stan and BGM decided to spread their influence from Haiti to the Mississippi Delta. Jonestown became the community of choice.
“We chose to work in Jonestown after touring the town and meeting many of the residents. The people were very welcoming, and it seemed to be a very good fit for our organization’s goal. After thinking and praying about the matter, we felt God leading us to Jonestown,” Stan said.
BGM has created an up-to-date dental facility in Jonestown. “A dental clinic was not even on the list of options at first, but it soon became apparent that it was the best thing to help the people,” said BGM Community and Dental Coordinator Linda McGrew.
The BGM Dental Clinic was originally donated by Henry Schein, a dental supply company, after it served as an emergency dental facility after Hurricane Katrina. The room is fitted with two dentist chairs and the lights and instruments necessary for any dental clinic.
BGM has been running the free dental clinic in Jonestown since its opening in November 2018. The clinic’s opening was successful, but it’s been harder to find dentists to volunteer their time. Several dentists have donated weekends, but it is BGM’s goal to find a stable source of dentists and hygienists so no one is overworked.
BGM has recently acquired an Aceton XM Lite handheld X-ray machine and is looking to upgrade its handheld drills and tools necessary to run a state-of-the-art dental clinic. With up-to-date technology that any dentist would use, the BGM Dental Clinic is a perfect place for dentists to do good.
As important as BGM’s dental clinic is, it’s not the only big thing they’re working on in Jonestown: The BGM medical clinic finally opened in September 2022. Located right around the corner from the dental clinic, the medical clinic also operates free of charge. It is run and operated by the medical professionals of Medical Analysis.
The dental and medical clinics fall within BGM’s “SPHERES” model, which closely mirrors the social determinants of health: Spiritual, Physical (medical and dental), H2O, Education, Roofs (or housing), Economic development, and Soil (access to healthy food).
“Our ‘SPHERES’ approach is effective and applicable in Jonestown because it works everywhere, no matter the town,” Stan said.
The dental clinic has had an extraordinary impact. “It’s not as if everyone needs the services, but that the services are here,” Linda said. “So many people from Jonestown and surrounding areas don’t even have dental insurance, so it is essential for their health that they have an outlet to resolve any dental problems.”
BGM will continue to work alongside the people of Jonestown to better the town and quality of life for its people. One of BGM’s volunteer dentists, Dr. Lance Dillion, feels that it is everyone’s responsibility to give back:
“I have done foreign missions and local missions, and you cannot find a better organization or group of people than BGM that want to take care of the people of Jonestown. All of the resources are there, we just have to get the dentists to the clinic.”
If any dentist or hygienist would like to donate their time and talents to the BGM Dental Clinic, please reach out to But God Ministries at 601-983-1179 or Community and Dental Coordinator Linda McGrew at firstname.lastname@example.org.