The annual Mayor’s Thanksgiving Service is today. This communitywide fellowship brings the Liberty County and Fort Stewart communities of faith together for a celebration.
This year marks the 11th year for the service, which began in 2002 under the leadership of former Hinesville Mayor Thomas Ratcliffe. The service is a collaborative effort between the mayor’s office and the Liberty County United Ministerial Alliance.
The 2013 program will be at 6 p.m. at the First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, where Rev. Dr. Sinclair Thorne is pastor.
“The annual Mayor’s Thanksgiving Service will be an exciting display of diversity,” said Pastor Richard Hayes, president of the Liberty County UMA and pastor of the New Day Community Ministry in Walthourville.
“This year’s theme is ‘United We Stand.’ We will have the opportunity to sing, pray and give thanks with approximately 11 pastors, seven public officials, three choirs and two dance ministries — all in one location,” he added.
Hayes said Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas always asks the UMA to help make the program a reflection of the community’s diversity. The pastor also said this year’s program will be one of the best.
“There’s something for everyone to give thanks and we’ve overcome some challenging times because united we stand,” he said.
Various state and local elected officials and pastors from Liberty County are scheduled to speak. Words for the nation will be given by U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., and state Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway.
Words for the community will be given by Thomas. Col. John Hort, 3rd Infantry Division deputy commanding general-maneuver, will present words for the military.
Pastor Tommy Crutchfield of the Life United Pentecostal Church of Hinesville will offer words of thanksgiving.
Additionally, other pastors and officials are scheduled to give prayers and read Scriptures.
Every year, an offering is collected to help the community. The offering will be given to the Liberty County Homeless Coalition. This organization works with other public-service agencies to provide temporary shelter, rental and utility payment assistance to people who are in need.
A reception will be held in the church’s fellowship hall following the program.