Church event blesses county residents
Marion COGIC congregation spreading spiritual positivity in the community
By JOHN RECH
“You belong here” isn’t just the slogan of Marion Church of God in Christ in Sunset. The congregation and volunteers distributed food, school and medical supplies, along with counseling and prayer on Saturday. Church Pastor Anthony Coleman said nearly 400 Crittenden County families received the needed help in the stressful time during the pandemic and back to school time.
“We wanted to reach those in need so we called it Community Connect,” said Coleman. “We gave out free food, free school supplies, medical supplies and provided counseling and prayers.”
Community members provided positive feedback to the pastor.
“One man driving to work said the event made a bit of a roadblock for him. He said at first he was upset,” said Coleman. “Then as he got closer to the church he saw what was going on. He had never seen a community event this massive. He made a cash donation of several hundred dollars. One woman told us she did not know where her next meal would come from; she was so grateful.”
Items available in the COVID driven protocol no-contact event included emptying 30 pallets of food like non-perishables, dairy products, eggs, salads, fresh fruit and vegetables, cereal and a variety of meat. School supplies set students on track with backpacks, paper, notebooks, pencils and crayons. Pragmatic medical supplies
See CHURCH, page A3 supplies.
Church and community volunteers connected with those in need at Marion Church of God in Christ in Sunset Saturday morning. More than 400 families benefited from food, school and medical
Photo submitted CHURCH
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helped families in need with the basics with masks, a limited amount of thermometers and dental hygiene items. Some participants asked for the professional counseling for dealing with stresses under the pandemic, back to school demands, and being at risk for hunger.
The church built an impressive base of volunteers and sponsors. Four dozen volunteers turned out, some from the small congregation and others from community groups. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, a girl scout troop, Auto Misfits, East Arkansas Family Health Center, Developmental Milestone, Faithful Healthcare, The Mid-South Food Bank, and West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon each had a part in Community Connection.
Pastor Coleman said his church was stepping outside its walls to make Marion, Sunset, and Harvard Yard a better place. The congregation marched to the Marion Police Station about a month ago for a rally after the George Floyd murder at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
“We want to get beyond walls, minister without walls,” said Coleman. “A month ago we did a protest and one of the things I was saying was this very thing. Not that we are New York or Los Angeles, but we do have a voice just like everybody else. I’m not here to cause controversy but we need to bring things to the light and not sweep them under the rug.What is the next step to how we help people? We need to have conversations and now is the time to do that.”