Volunteers Help A Displaced Congregation

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Meridian, Miss. On this Good Friday we have some good news; it's about an outpouring of support from volunteers within this community and beyond that has helped a local congregation in its time of need.

Members of Tabernacle United Methodist Church in Meridian say they were truly amazed by the support they received to move into the site where they currently meet. Just over a week ago church leaders asked for help in cleaning up the former Bonita United Methodist Church, so the displaced congregation could use the facility.

"I was overwhelmed by the turnout," says Sadie Martin, who is chairperson of the church's Board of Trustees. "To know that people, who did not know us came was just absolutely overwhelming."

The volunteers included locals, and people from other areas such as Laurel, and even some from Habitat for Humanity, who were in Meridian from Boston and New York. However, that's not all.

"The fire department came," says Pastor Sidney Luvene, "and the first thing I was like was 'We didn't call 911 what's going on?' and they were like 'We're here to help. We're here to help cleanup,' and I was like, 'Praise be to God!"

Praising God is what the congregation is continuing to do as it decides what action to take next.

"God certainly sent these servants to help us, and get us where we needed to be in order to have service," says Luvene.

"The one thing that I would like to say is that people are still giving, loving and generous," says Martin.

Tabernacle United Methodist Church's congregation has been displaced since a fire occurred in the sanctuary there in January. Investigators ruled the case as arson. So far, no arrests have been made, and the investigation into the case is ongoing.