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Thanksgiving service unites community
In the pulpit
Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas - photo by Courier file photo
This year has been a lean one, that’s for sure, and many people have endured hardships like never before. Now the season of giving and thanksgiving is upon us.
At this time of year, many people reach into their pockets to help the less fortunate, and pause to give thanks for the blessing they have received. Here in Liberty County, members of the community always pitch in to make the holiday season a enjoyable for those in need.
To expand those efforts, the Mayor’s Annual Community Service of song, prayer, and thanksgiving is at 6 p.m. today at the Hinesville First United Methodist Church where the Rev. Rich Wright is pastor.
The program brings the community’s faithful together for the good of the county. This year’s theme is “The Community Ties that Bind.”
“We are striving to make the Thanksgiving program special as always,” said Dr. Dexter S. Andrews, president of the United Ministerial Alliance. “The mayor has allowed the United Ministerial Alliance to take the lead with providing the clergy in support of the program.
“Just like last year, there will be a diverse representation of the city’s clergy coming together to thank God for another year.”
Government officials and pastors from the community and Fort Stewart will speak during the program. Other officials and pastors will offer prayers and scripture readings.
Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas will attend and Brig. Gen. Jeffrey E. Phillips, 3rd Infantry Division deputy commanding general-rear, will take the podium. Dr. Kevin L. Betton of Temple of Praise Church, Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, and House of Refuge Pastor Glenda Bradley will also offer a few words.
The Liberty County Area Mass Choir, under the direction of Ronald G. Calhoun, and the Fort Stewart Multi-Cultural Choir will perform.
During the service, an offering will be made to the Liberty County Homeless Coalition, which was formed this summer to address homelessness here. The organization works with other local service agencies to provide temporary shelter, rental and utility payment assistance to those in need.
Since many charitable organizations are feeling an economic pinch, Andrews urges area residents to donate food to Manna House, especially canned items. The Manna House operates under the leadership of Pastor Katrina Deason, a member of the UMA.  
According the Andrews, the UMA has been increasing its activity in the community. Members have had a busy year, and they recently recognized one of the alliance’s founding members.
“On Oct. 25, we met at Baconton Missionary Baptist Church to honor Presiding Elder Henry Frasier Sr. for his years of service with the UMA. Elder Frasier was awarded the Dr. Jimmie L. Smiley award,” Andrews said.
“Our focus for the UMA is committed to bringing the clergy of this community together. In addition, we are doing all we can for the people of our community,” the president said. “2010 will bring more on our plate as we increase the awareness of our ministry and goodwill in this community. Our theme for 2010 is ‘We’re yet alive.’”
For more information about the Thanksgiving pogram or the UMA, call 492-6281.
Anderson is the author of “Lack of Knowledge” and “Dare to Soar.”
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