Ministry offers variety of help

Published 4:57 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2005

By By Janet Little Cooper
The Atmore Area Christian Care Ministry came to town quietly almost seven years ago under the praying and planning of its two founders, Kelly Brown, former pastor of FBC Atmore and John Brannon former pastor of FUM Atmore.
Both men have since moved from Atmore, but not before organizing a core group of volunteers who have kept the operation running. The ministry, which is funded strictly with donations, operates with the help of about 60 volunteers and under the direction of a board of directors.
"It began in an effort to give support to every single local church." Rev. Doug Newton, Pastor of First United Methodist Church said, "In this area, people go church to church with the same request. We felt that we could help people in a more positive way if we as churches were to join hands in providing for their basic needs. It is much more effective by joining together."
The Christian Care Ministry came at a time when Vanity Fair was closing and there was a lot of community needs. The latest rash of hurricanes has also magnified the needs of a community.
"We realized that the need was great in Atmore for one central location to help people instead of going from church to church." AACCM secretary Marilyn Bryant said.
The Ministry has an office located on 105 North Pensacola Avenue that is open Monday Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. until noon. Individuals who come in for assistance are required to complete a screening process and application. The volunteers will provide help with general immediate needs and always food.
"We give them bibles and always food." Rev. Newton said, "Our volunteers know the county and state agencies that can offer a more long term solution for them. They will also pray and counsel with individuals."
According to Rev. Newton, the ministry has given away over 30,000 food items in the last year. Last week alone, 61 people were supplied with food. All of the food and monetary assistance comes from donations of individuals, churches and businesses.
AACC Ministry is getting ready to kick off its annual Harvest Month in November. Businesses, schools and individuals will be asked to provide non-perishable canned goods to the ministry for distribution.
"Our pantry needs replenishing." Rev. Newton said, "According to the volunteers that work the pantry, it is worse than it has ever been."
Ministry secretary, Marilyn Bryant thinks the hurricanes have had an impact on the lack of canned goods being brought into the ministry office.
"We have a desperate need of food now. We have been so caught up with Katrina victims, everyone is collecting for them and sending it out." Bryant said, "But people need to remember that we are still here and that there are still needs right here at home."
The board of directors are: Rev. Doug Newton, chairman, Marilyn Bryant, secretary, David Anderson, legal advisor, Charles Lowery, George Mosby, Charlotte Boyle, Dorothy Albert, Homer Nix, Giles Chapman, Rev. Arnold Hendrix, and Rev. Monroe Tucker, Jr.
"All of the volunteers that work and the board of directors, we all have a heart to help people any way we can." Rev. Newton said, "We do it in the name of Jesus Christ because we know He would want us to do it."
The Atmore Area Christian Care Ministry is a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) charitable ministry. The purpose is to serve those with emergency or crisis needs with the care and response of Jesus Christ. The office is open from 9 a.m. until noon on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of each week.

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