Church celebrates 71 years of ministry despite hardships

Local church celebrates 71 years in ministry

South Columbus United Methodist Church is Celebrating its 71st anniversary, and their theme is "Serving those who Serve." The ministry has recently endured a fire and a robbery.

"We had a lot of things happen to us this year. As you know, we had a fire during Thanksgiving in this church, we have also had different thefts that stole our AC units," said Pastor Reggie Williams from South Columbus United Methodist Church.

The church had troubled moments where they had to locate to other churches. Members also feared that they might have to close their church a few times as well. However, thanks to those who helped and served the congregation, Pastor Williams said he was happy to celebrate the Church's 71st year with more than 500 members.

"Police officers, fire fighters, and other members always helped us. They were always responsive," Pastor Williams added. "We are also going to give them an award from the church. We are acknowledging what they have done and there will be also other city officials here."

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson was also at the church's 71st anniversary event. She said she visits about three churches every week, and Mayor Tomlinson sees it as a great privilege.

"It's a very respectful and intimate experience to worship with individuals," Mayor Tomlinson explained. "South Columbus United Methodist Church has a very long and rich history in this community, and it's a bed rock of South Columbus because of the fire and threat to destroy the church...and the fact that they overcame so incredible."

Tim Marshall, the director of Frank D. Chester Recreational Park in South Columbus received an award for helping South Columbus United Methodist Church. The park allowed the church to use its facility whenever the church held events.

"We were recognized for what we do daily basis within the South Columbus community," Tim Marshall said. "It's an honor, and if South Columbus United Methodist Church needs more help, we would love to do it."

The State secretary of NAACP explained why the theme "Serving Those Who Serve" is important. She grew up on Winston Road in South Columbus and explained that she had to endure some struggles herself.

Tonza Thomas added that she would not be the person that she is today if it had not been her mentors and people who showed her support and service, she would not be where she is today.

"No one would have ever thought that a high school drop-out and a teen mother would be a leader for the NAACP," Tonza Thomas said. "It was all because of the service that my mentors and others gave me that helped me want to become a strong person who can return the favor."

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.