Churches bring outreach project for community

Published 4:17 am Wednesday, October 3, 2007

By Staff
Beebe Memorial Park is site of three-day evangelistic initiative
Contributing Editor
A community evangelistic-outreach event comes to Beebe Memorial Park in Washington on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Several Washington-area churches and ministries — First Baptist Church, Temple of Jesus Christ, 15th Street Church of God, Harvest Time Evangelistic Outreach, Beebe Memorial CME Church, St. John Missionary Baptist Church and Purpose of God Evangelistic Outreach — formed a partnership to organize and present the three-day series of programs. Each night’s program begins at 6 p.m.
The open-air programs include sermons, musical entertainment and food such as hot dogs and cold beverages. The programs are open to the public.
The sermons will be delivered by Charles McCullough, pastor of Harvest Time Evangelistic Outreach, on Thursday; Bishop James Woolard, pastor of Temple of Jesus Christ, on Friday; and Thomas J. Lee, pastor of 15th Street Church of God, on Saturday.
Jonathan Jones, a member of First Baptist Church and an assistant district attorney, helped organize and plan the outreach ministry. Jones said the churches involved in the ministry share “a common call from God … to go outside our church walls” to share the message of salvation.
Beebe Memorial Park was chosen as the site for the programs because it’s near the neighborhood Jones originally wanted to reach and provides amenities that will support the outreach effort, Jones said.
At first, Jones said, he felt he was being led to take God’s message of salvation to young men and women who live in an near an area bounded by Seventh Street on the south, Ninth Street on the north and near Market Street. As an assistant district attorney, Jones said, he has seen too many young people from that area come through the court system and be sent to prison.
Jones said there was no doubt that “something needed to be done to reach out to that community.”
Those young people, Jones said, need another path to follow. For Jones, that path is the one that leads to salvation.
Jones said the problem faced by many of the young people he sees in the court system is easily identified.
It’s a problem the community must solve, he said.
Eventually, the plan to take God’s message of hope to troubled young people evolved into something more community-based, Jones said. During the summer, more people and churches joined the effort.
One of those people is McCullough, pastor of Harvest Time Evangelical Outreach.
McCullough said he and Connell Purvis, a member of First Baptist Church, had been talking about the need for churches working together in an outreach ministry for awhile when they learned of Jones’ plan. McCullough said he and Purvis knew they had to get involved with that plan.
The minister believes that vision is shared by the churches and ministries organizing the outreach programs.
McCullough said he’s convinced the programs will result in “bringing healing and restoration to our community.”
The programs provide an opportunity for the participating churches to plant the seeds of salvation, Jones said.