THAYER/MAMMOTH SPRING -- The Thayer/Mammoth Spring Ministerial Alliance held a Community Renewal Celebration Service Oct. 22 and 23 and again Oct. 26 through 31. This was the first meeting of this kind held in the Thayer/Mammoth Spring area
According to Thayer First Assembly of God minister Abel Perez, the ministerial alliance is made up of 10 different area churches in the Thayer/Mammoth Spring area. "We help people or transients passing through the area, we assist people with their utility bill payments and there are times when people around the area need help buying food," Perez said.
All of these good deeds are done with donations from the congregations of the 10 churches involved and concerned individuals.
Perez said although he and the other churches and pastors are fortunate to be able to offer the services they do, they want the community to understand that the ministerial alliance is available for more than just handing out money.
"The Community Renewal Celebration Service was a good example of this. James Hunter, owner of the old elementary school building was kind enough to allow us to use the old gym for our celebration meetings. For this we are very thankful," Perez said.
Ministers that presented services at the meetings were all local ministers. They included, Jimmy Lemmons, Erman Croney, Richard Robinson, Bear Brockelman, Jim Denbow, James Shrieves, Ron Richardson and Wayne Hurst.
"The purpose of the meetings was to unite people from different faiths. The speakers did a good job reaching out to all the different church members that were there," Perez said.
He said the meetings averaged around 90 people a night and there is a strong possibility the ministerial alliance will be doing such a program again.
After visiting with some members of the community who attended one or more of the celebration services, it was clear the meetings were a success. One person said, "Maybe this will help tear down some religious walls that have been in our communities for a long time." Another one said, "There was such an atmosphere of peace, love and acceptance."
The last night of the celebration meeting was a youth night and a local youth Christian band, Jericho Seven, performed.
"We want our ministerial alliance to be more community minded. For instance, this year several of our churches have prepared dinners for the Thayer Bobcats football team. We don't want to be known for just handing out money to those in need. There may even become a time when we can utilize the old elementary gym as a community outreach center," Perez said.
The ministerial alliance will be hosting their annual Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 25 at the Thayer First Assembly of God Church. The speaker for the evening's service will be Pastor James Shrieves from St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Thayer.
Another project the ministerial alliance will be working on is providing bell ringers to help raise funds for the Salvation Army this holiday season. Ministerial alliance volunteers will be ringing bells for donations the weekend of Nov. 28 and 29 through Dec. 19 and 20. The bell ringers will be at Wal-Mart, Wallace and Owens and Town and Country
"Eighty percent of the monies raised from the bell ringers will stay here in our local area. Any community organization or individual who would like to become involved in the bell ringing program can contact myself, Rev. Abel Perez, at 417-280-2525 or Rev. Wayne Hopper at 870-625-9382.