BATESVILLE – Identical twin brothers Hairl Anderson and Fairl Anderson just moved to California in the 1940s. They had no jobs and very little money.
“We were 20 and had enough money to get one haircut,” said Hairl Anderson, a member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Batesville. “It was about double out there what it cost back here.”
The next time the brothers needed a haircut, they had no money. They found a pair of clippers in a closet and gave each other haircuts.
When the friend they were staying with got home from work, he asked the brothers if they had been to the barbershop.
“No,” Hairl Anderson said. “We’ve been out in the carport all evening cutting each others’ hair.”
The friend insisted that the twins cut his hair.
“We’ve never been back to a barbershop,” said Hairl Anderson.
The two brothers continued cutting hair while they served in the Army and when they moved to Arkansas.
In the 1960s, the brothers opened up Anderson Brothers Barber Shop in Batesville. It was in this same shop – 60 years later – that the Anderson brothers gave free haircuts to the Batesville community for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention’s (ABSC) Acts 1:8 One Day Mission Trip Oct. 5.
The annual mission day saw more than 2,200 volunteers converge on Batesville and Mountain View to perform various mission projects, including block parties, door-to-door evangelism, medical and dental clinics, a fishing derby, construction and, of course, free haircuts.
“We went to work about 10 o’clock on Saturday morning and got done around 3 p.m.,” said Fairl Anderson, a member of Fellowship Baptist Church in Batesville. “The best we can tell, we ran 50 heads through here. We were moving pretty fast, but we had a lot of fun.”
The brothers saw a wide range of people enter their shop during the event – from toddlers to an 80-year-old man and women.
“We normally don’t do many clients of women but about a third of our customers were women that day,” said Fairl Anderson. “Most of the women’s hair we do is the middle-aged to older women who have a real short cut. A lot of these teenage girls who came in had their hair down two feet long and were wanting a couple of inches of it cut off.”
Hairl Anderson said the mission day impacted his church.
“My pastor said the other day that he would like to do this at least once a year,” he said. “I agreed with him and said I wish we would.”
During the mission day, more than 6,000 meals were given out, and 8,000 English Bibles and 2,700 Spanish Bibles were distributed. In all, 51 salvations were reported during the event.
“One Day is an annual missions experience that mobilizes a great number of Arkansas Baptists to partner with the churches of an Arkansas Baptist association to impact lostness as they serve people and engage them with the gospel through community missions,” said Sam Roberts, missions assistant team leader for the ABSC.
“When we serve and love well, we open the door for those local Arkansas Baptists to engage their neighbors in gospel conversations in the days and weeks after One Day.”
Aaron Leggett, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Batesville, said that Acts 1:8 One Day has “opened up all kinds of doors.”
“This day excites and mobilizes people for missions,” said Leggett. “We are able to penetrate our community and say, ‘We love you, and we love Christ, and we want to serve you as best we can.’”
According to Leggett, Southside is one of the fastest growing areas of the state and one of the newest cities with new housing developments and new apartment complexes being built.
“It’s really a neat time to be ministering,” said Leggett.
Contact Sarah Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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