More than 50 senior residents of Walthourville and the surrounding area expressed gratitude on the Thursday before Thanksgiving with prayer and praise while sharing a Thanksgiving dinner at Baconton Missionary Baptist Church.
Frank Clark, president of Seniors of Walthourville and Surrounding Counties, said his 3-year-old organization is a “Golden age organization” with more than 50 members who are 50 and older. A 501(c) organization supported by United Way, he said Seniors of Walthourville also receives support from Baconton, Friendship and Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist churches.
“This is our third year,” Clark said. “We’re growing and improving. We were having some problems, but the Lord has blessed us.”
Clark, a retired postal worker from Philadelphia, said he reluctantly became president last year because the organization was struggling. Part of the “blessing” he referred to was Lana Walthour, a management analyst who works on Fort Stewart. She volunteered her services to help the organization, which since has begun to grow.
“We have a very small annual membership fee,” Walthour said, noting that most members are from Liberty and Long counties. “I started with them at the first of the year. They have their 501(c) status now.”
In addition to dinners like the one prepared and served Thursday by Mary and Steve Mullice, Betty Frasier and Elminia Wilkins, Clark said the group takes shopping trips together. He said they went to Beaufort, S.C., in October, and they’re planning a trip to Statesboro next month.
“We help our seniors with bills, food — whatever. If someone needs a ride to a doctor or lawyer, we help get them there. We connect our people with the people who can help them.”
When most of the seniors had arrived and were seated in the church banquet room, Clark asked the seniors’ former president, Brendtnal Brathwaite, to ask the Lord to bless the feast they were about to enjoy.
“Almighty Father God, we thank you for everything!” said Brathwaite, who then listed those things he and other seniors were grateful for.
City Councilwoman Luciria Lovette thanked the group for inviting her, explaining that Mayor Daisy Pray sent her regards but could not be there.
“What is it that you would like the city to do for you?” she asked. “If we can do anything for any veterans, please let us know. We’re looking for opportunities to assist you.”
The feast included turkey and ham, green beans, rice, cornbread dressing and gravy, sweet potatoes and yeast rolls. Desert — for those who were not too stuffed — was banana pudding.
Clark told the seniors about other upcoming events, including a Thanksgiving dinner at the IGA in Midway from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, which will include gospel singing, praise worship and inspirational messages, he said.
The seniors also will have a dinner and a Christmas play Dec. 8 at Baconton Missionary Baptist Church. Seniors interested in attending that event or joining Seniors of Walthouville can call 368-6530.