Old Ford Church of Christ dinner benefits Purpose of God, hurricane relief

Published 6:49 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A silent auction, a barbecue dinner and two great causes — that’s what attendees can expect this Saturday as Old Ford Church of Christ hosts its annual Giving Christmas Dinner and Auction. The beneficiaries of the dinner this year are a pair of religious organizations serving to the people of Beaufort and Craven counties. This year, proceeds from the dinner will be split evenly between the Purpose of God Annex in Washington and the Two Rivers Church Hurricane Relief Fund.

“Each year, we pick nonprofit organizations here in the community that give back to the community,” event organizer Susan Asby said.

The first organization, Purpose of God Annex in Washington, seeks to expand opportunities for children, adults and families in Beaufort County by providing educational, pre-employment and vocational training. Founded nearly 20 years ago by Bishop Samuel Jones Jr. and his wife, Mother Regina Jones, POGA has touched countless lives in the community offering a head start for the young, as well as services for adults and families in need. Asby says POGA was one of the first organizations to benefit from the dinner and was chosen again due to the tremendous service the group does for the people of Beaufort County. According to POGA director Bishop Samuel Jones Jr., his organization has a number of ties to the Old Ford Church of Christ.

“Several of our board members are out there and several people who know us and our mission,” Bishop Samuel Jones Jr. said. “Different members have worked with us on some level or another. They participated with the POGA Mission House, and we went to say, ‘Thank you,’ and in doing so, we let them know we had some needs.”

The second beneficiary of the dinner is the Two Rivers Church Hurricane Relief Fund. Located in New Bern, Two Rivers Church has taken a leading role in assisting families and individuals whose homes were damaged during Hurricane Florence. In the months since the storm struck, the church has helped clean, gut and repair more than 70 homes in New Bern and the surrounding area. The church has also worked with International Disaster Emergency Services to secure temporary sheds for storm victims to store their possessions while repairs are underway.

“We got into the community as soon as we could to try and help people get their houses cleaned out and get their houses ready so that a lot of that mold wouldn’t grow in their home,” Two Rivers Associate Minister Greg Coverdale said. “We started organizing people and getting churches and volunteer groups to try to help out as many people as we could.”

Asby shared that Old Ford Christian Church partnered with Two Rivers in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, sending crews to Craven County to help those in need. According to Cloverdale, 100 percent of the funds raised for hurricane relief will go to help those in need.

On Saturday, the silent auction will feature items donated by church members, including new and gently used items, handmade gifts, food and gift baskets. Bidding opens at 5 p.m. and continues through the evening until winners are announced at 7 p.m. Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. Donations are accepted for the meal, and Asby says attendees are only asked to bring a giving heart. Those who cannot attend, but who wish to donate, can make checks payable to Old Ford Church of Christ with a note of “Giving Christmas Dinner and Auction.”