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Spirit alive and well in Liberty County
In the pulpit
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We are in the midst of the holiday season, and people are hustling and bustling around town. During this time of the year, it’s hard not to get into the spirit of celebration and giving.
Many Liberty County groups, churches, organization and government entities have sponsored or coordinated holiday-themed events and services recently, and there are others still in the works.
On Dec. 4, the city of Hinesville had its annual Christmas parade, and despite the chilly, rainy weather, area resident showed up in droves for the festivities.
In the spirit of Christmas, churches around the county have put on programs commemorating the birth of Jesus. Many celebrations are annual traditions.
There’s no shortage of candlelight communions, Christmas musicals, plays and skits. On Dec. 13, the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Progressive Missionary Baptist Association of Riceboro had its fifth annual candlelight service. The program’s theme was “O Come Let Us Adore Him.” Dorothy Roundtree of First African Baptist serves as the president of the auxiliary.
Ladies from the association’s five churches — First African Baptist, First Zion Baptist, Riceboro Baptist, Old Anderson Grove Baptist and New Anderson Grove Baptist — staged the musical and participated in the combined choir, which was directed by the Rev. Vanessa Collins of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church of Hinesville.
The men of the Progressive Missionary Baptist Association participated in the men’s mass choir. The five pastors of the association — Moderator Abram Brown of Old Anderson Grove, Pastor Neil Dawson of First African, Pastor Frederick McIver of First Zion Baptist and Pastor Edgar Timmons of Riceboro Baptist and New Anderson Grove — were in charge of the praise and worship service. They spoke to the audience at the end of the program.
Not to be left out, children ages 9-12 staged a play, “Get Ready for Christmas,” directed by Yvonne Lambert. The grand finale was a rendition of “Pretty Little Baby Jesus,” led by Deacon Jeffrey West. Dr. Lelia Jones presided over the program.
In addition to the church programs, Liberty County District 5 Commissioner Gary Gilliard and his friends from the business community sponsored a free turkey and ham giveaway for senior citizens who attend churches in the district.
Gilliard said he thought it was an excellent way to give back to the community that has supported him this year.
“Proverbs 3:27 says to, ‘withhold not good from them to whom it is due when it is in the power of thine hand to do so,’ and since the Lord has blessed me, I wanted to share these blessing with others,” Gilliard said. “I selected six of the more established churches in my district, which includes Hinesville, Allenhurst, Walthourville and the unincorporated areas (Holmestown, McIntosh and Longreach) and asked seniors to sign up.”
Gilliard and his brother-in-law, Ritchie Anderson, delivered the turkeys and hams to the winners’ doors Dec. 19.
“I’ve been blessed with a giving spirit and if I can help someone I surely will,” the commissioner said. “Again, this is the season of giving and I want to give back. The guys on my job (OMI) sponsored a canned-good drive and we will donate (the canned goods) to First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church food source, and they will use this to feed the hungry in our community.”
As you celebrate the season, don’t forget to enjoy the various festivities and to help those less fortunate than you.
Have a merry Christmas and a happy, blessed and prosperous New Year.
Anderson is the author of “Lack of Knowledge” and “Dare to Soar.”
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