Churches join for Thanksgiving

Published 11:09 am Monday, November 25, 2013

Worshipers sing "Amazing Grace" during Sunday evening's community Thanksgiving service at Grace Fellowship Church.

Worshippers sing “Amazing Grace” during Sunday evening’s community Thanksgiving service at Grace Fellowship Church.

Congregations and ministers from nine area churches joined together Sunday evening, to give thanks for God’s blessings, at the Atmore Ministerial Association’s annual community Thanksgiving service.

Grace Fellowship Church hosted the service at its auditorium, and pastor Gene King welcomed the more than 100 worshipers in the congregation.

“It is wonderful to see all of us here, from so many different denominations and churches,” he said. “This is a time when we can lay all those differences beside us, and we can all come together to give thanks for God’s blessings.”

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The Rev. Debora Bishop, pastor of Atmore First United Methodist Church, brought the sermon, which she titled “Remember” and used Deuteronomy 26:1-11 as its text.

In that Scripture passage, the writer reminds the Israelites that God has brought them out of bondage to a “land of milk and honey” and that they should give the first fruits of their harvest back to God. The passage also states, “Then you and the Levites and the foreigners residing among you shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household.”

Bishop explained that it is important to remember God’s blessings in this season of Thanksgiving.

“Today we truly kick off our season of celebration and thanksgiving that will continue through the rest of the year,” she said. “We get that opportunity to go to God, and to worship God and thank him for his abundance.”

Bishop, who started pastoring her church in Atmore in the summer, said that the area has many signs of God’s blessing and a bountiful harvest. She pointed to the filled log trucks and train cars, as well as the abundance of cotton and pecan plants as proof that our community is truly blessed.

“Many of us have been wandering in the desert, and some of us have even been held captive,” she said. “But we all know a God who is faithful. And we need to celebrate with our first fruits of the harvest, and give them back to him.”

Bishop also noted that the most important blessing that God has given his people was the sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ, on the cross.

Dr. Monroe Tucker, pastor of Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church, led the offering and prayer earlier in the service. All of the offering was given to the Atmore Area Christian Care Ministry.

The Rev. Jim Thorpe, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Atmore, read the Scripture and the Rev. Jake Bondurant, pastor of Canoe Baptist Church, led the closing prayer. Bobby Davis sang “Bless This House,” accompanied by Cathy Peterson on the keyboard, and Grace’s music ministry led the congregational singing.

The churches who sponsored Sunday night’s service were First United Methodist Church, Grace Fellowship Church, First Presbyterian Church, Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church, Bethel United Methodist Church, Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, McRae Street United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church and Canoe Baptist Church.