Wednesday, August 31, 2016  
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Sheriff Dennis Darby joined Ophelia Ford and Pastor Kent Brown at Saturday’s fun day sponsored by St. Paul UMC. Photo by Malcolm Morehead
Church reaches out to neighborhood

By Malcolm Morehead

Remember the time when riding bikes in the neighborhood, or even beyond, was totally safe? Many lament the fact that local youth might not ever know the peace and safety in their current surroundings that the older generation knew.  

But if the members of St. Paul United Methodist Church on Martin Luther King Jr. Street succeed, they will help make things safer in their part of town.  

Last Saturday Pastor Kent Brown and several members sponsored a fun day, within sight of their church.  The name of their program is Faith for the Future.  

The purpose of food and games was to teach the community to come out and have fun again in a safe place.  

Using young men from St. Paul’s in the role of mentors for the neighborhood youth, they hope to change the atmosphere in that area.  Using the church’s leaders and  influence, they want to give hope to the people who fear for their safety in the community.  

It’s hoped that the project will serve as a model for other churches seeking to protect children from harsh influences.

 Rev. Brown said he now believes he has about five more churches that will come alongside his model.  He is being assisted by members Ophelia Ford and Jeffrey Young.

The plans of this one concerned church reached Dr. Andy Garrott, local dentist on Eureka Street.  With his son Josh and his famous chilli dog wagon,  he joined forces and cooked about 100 hot dogs and served them up with add-ons and drinks.  

By about noon, there were close to 100 people in attendence and the event was just getting started.  

Dr. Andy is well aware of how to use hot dogs and games to attract youth to attend an event.  The same plan works in his Honduras mission endeavor  with the youth there.

Also taking notice of aim of the event was Sheriff Dennis Darby.  He said he recognized that with the help of the local population, the town reaps the benefits of their efforts to fight crime and gang influence.

By becoming an influence for a safer, more peaceful street, where parents are not afraid for their children to get out of our sight, St. Paul members hope others, churches and organizations alike, will contact Rev. Kent Brown and ask what they could do to join with him or start their own movement.  

The organizers expressed thanks to the Around the Corner Detail Shop for allowing their grounds to be used for the event.

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