|Written by Valerie J. Morgan|
New Life blesses the masses with food and hope
DECATUR—Hundreds of volunteers fed nearly 1,000 homeless people at New Life Church’s tenth annual Thanksgiving Fellowship Dinner in Decatur.
“You know when I first became homeless, I had this idea of men with bad teeth and long scruffy beards but as I found out, we are all one job loss away from homelessness,” said Patricia Adams, who has been homeless for about two years now. “I stand here today as the new face of homelessness and thank a church like this for being a real blessing for us. We can come here knowing that we will be loved with food, clothing, beauty and other critically needed services.”
At the dinner, those in need enjoyed a home-cooked meal with all the trimmings including turkey and gravy, rice, dressing, cranberry sauce, candied yams, collard greens, pound cake and lemonade.
Church members not only rolled up their sleeves and prepared the food, they raised money and donations for the dinner as they have done every year since 2003.
“We truly believe that if Jesus Christ was still here on the earth, at this moment, he would be doing this. How can we be a Christian church, if we are not doing work that is Christ like?” said New Life Pastor Marlin D. Harris. “Our church hosts this event annually, knowing that we are all just one bad decision away from being in their shoes.”
At the annual fellowship dinner, attendees just didn’t get their bellies full. Spiritual food was provided too, through praise and worship, scripture readings, testimonies, a short sermon by the Rev. Davetta Thomas, inspirational poems and prayer.
Pastor Harris said the church doesn’t just help the homeless at Thanksgiving, but every week with necessities including free haircuts for men and hair services for women, counseling, food, clothing and spiritual guidance.
“We provide services like this to the homeless community every Friday night and Saturday. But today is very special to our ministry. For many, especially the homeless community, the holidays can be the worst time of the year. They see everyone celebrating, while they are alienated for whatever reason,” said Pastor Harris. “A lot of our homeless brothers and sisters consider this their home and although we can’t provide shelter, what better place to have Thanksgiving dinner than at home?”
New Life Church is located at 3592 Flat Shoals Road, Decatur and holds service on Sunday mornings at 8 and 11 a.m.
Check out more great photos from this event on our Facebook, here
Lifting Up Praises at Bald Rock Baptist
CONYERS—Bald Rock Baptist Church, Senior Pastor Christopher Shipp and First Lady Valerie Shipp recently welcomed the community to a spirit-filled gospel concert to celebrate the holiday season.
Ten choirs from churches in Rockdale and Newton counties lifted up their voices during the Feb. 23 evening of praise and worship. The concert was free for all to attend. The special offering that was raised during the concert provided holiday food baskets for those in need.
“Every year we give out baskts for the holidays to help those in need. We receive referrals from DFACS, church members and others. We try to help as many as we possibly can,” said Pastor Shipp.
Bald Rock is located at 2284 Old Covington Road.
We Worship Calendar
St. Paul AME to present Christmas cantata
St Paul AME Worship Center, 1704 Stone Mountain-Lithonia Road, Lithonia will present the Lou Walker Performing Arts Group in “The Night the Angels Sang” on Friday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m.
The Christmas cantata will feature an evening of drama, dance, poetry and musical arrangements and narratives by Gwendolyn F. Thomas.
Donations are $15 per person. Tickets are available by calling 770-482-4361 or 404-409-9159. The cantata will benefit programs at St. Paul AME and DeKalb For Seniors, Inc.
Columbia Presbyterian Church celebrates Advent
Columbia Presbyterian Church, 711 Columbia Drive, Decatur, is celebrating its Annual Advent Festival on Sunday, Dec. 8, 4 p.m.
Gingerbread houses and holiday decorations will take center stage in the church’s Hazelwood Hall for the festival. In addition to the 10 craft tables, the two-hour festival ushers in the Advent Season with fellowship, song, food and worship.
The festival wraps up with a soup and sandwich buffet followed by worship in the sanctuary. After the worship service, members will go outside with candles to sing a wide selection of Advent and Christmas carols.
The festival is open to the public. The church will also host an Advent worship and music service on Sunday, Dec. 22, 11 a.m. and Christmas Eve worship on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 6 p.m.
Love Life Christian fellowship presents Christmas praise recital
The Essence of Grace Ministry at Love Life Christian Fellowship Church will present “Don’t Forget Jesus,” an enchanting Christmas story, dance and praise recital on Saturday, De. 7, 5 p.m. The recital will be held at New Life Baptist Church, 3592 Flat Shoals Road, Decatur.
The community is invited to the spirit-filled, festive recital to celebrate this holiday season. 404-241-1499 or 770-256-4337.
Elizabeth Baptist Church prepares for Angel Tree project
Elizabeth Baptist Church, 4245 Cascade Road, S.W., Atlanta, is gearing up for its Angel Tree Project presentation for needy families this holiday season.
The church has been collecting toys for needy families through “Angel Cards” since Nov. 30.
If you would like to donate gifts, the deadline is Wednesday, Dec. 11. If you and your family are in need of assistance this Christmas, call the church’s Compassion In Action Ministry at 404-696-2076 and leave a message. The application deadline for needy families is Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Beulah’s M.A.D.D. presents “Heaven’s Gift”
Beulah Missionary Baptist Church’s Music Arts Dance and Drama ministry (M.A.D.D.) will present “Heaven’s Gift” on Friday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m., in the church’s family life center, 2340 Clifton Springs Road, Decatur.
Heaven’s spiritual hosts will be featured in rare form through the voice of God, the presence of Michael, Gabriel and angels and the birth of Jesus Christ.” 404-241-3307.
Antioch-Lithonia plans trip to “Magical Nights of Lights”
The Antioch-Lithonia Women’s Ministry is planning a trip to the “Magical Nights of Lights” at Lake Lanier Islands on Saturday, Dec. 14.
This holiday event includes a drive-through twinkling lights tour, live nativity scene, the “12 days of Christmas light display” and more.
The cost per couple is $23. The event is on a first-come, first-served basis. The bus has limited seating and seats may go quickly. The bus will depart from the church for Lake Lanier at 3 p.m.
The women’s ministry will stop for dinner at Golden Corral before the trip (this cost is not included in trip payment).
Antioch-Lithonia Missionary Baptist Church is located at 2152 Rock Chapel Road, Lithonia.
For more information or to sign up, call Almarene Hardeman at 770-929-1935 or Rebecca McCullum 678-651-5603.
First Baptist of Decatur to remember Newtown tragedy
First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairemont Ave., Decatur, will host a candlelight vigil for the grieving families of the Newtown, CT tragedy on Saturday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m.
Held on the church’s front lawn, the program is hosted by the church for the community to gather and remember and pray in support of the families in Newtown during this holiday season.
On Dec. 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 school children and six adult staff members in a mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. As first responders arrived, he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
The shooting was the second deadliest mass shooting by a single person in American history, after the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, and the second deadliest mass murder at a U.S. elementary school, after the 1927 Bath School bombings in Michigan. 404-373-1653.
Fairfield, area churches unite to host free Thanksgiving Fellowship for needy
The Community Thanksgiving Fellowship will be held for the second year at Fairfield Baptist Church, 6133 Redan Road, Lithonia.
The event, sponsored by over 10 churches, will provide an array of social services on Thanksgiving Day to economically challenged individuals and families in the Lithonia, Redan and Stone Mountain communities. Persons registering for the event may choose clothing and shoes and receive food baskets, new bibles, personal hygiene items, toys, haircuts, salon certificates and school supplies. Additionally, the attendees will feast on a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner.
The event, the brainchild of Pastor Micheal Benton of Fairfield, was well attended last year with hundreds of persons benefiting from a day of thanks and giving. The day will begin at 9 a.m. with praise and worship. Bishop Quincy L. Carswell, pastor of the Covenant Church, Decatur, will deliver the sermon. Participating churches will render the musical selections for the occasion.
Donations of new or gently-used clothing and shoes for women, men and children, non-perishable food items, personal hygiene items, school supplies and new toys may be dropped off in the rear of the Fairfield Baptist Church’s sanctuary on Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Interested residents should register by Nov. 22 for the Community Thanksgiving Fellowship: 770-482-7660, ext. 177.
Ousley UMC registering for Mr. & Miss Ousley
Ousley United Methodist Church, 3621 Panola Road, Lithonia, is registering children for the church’s second annual “Mr. & Miss Ousley” pageant on Saturday, Dec. 7, 6 p.m.
The pageant is open to girls and boys between the ages of 1 and 11.