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'Gas buy-down' eases pain at pump

Patrons at a local gas station, once again, enjoyed a little relief at the pump, thanks to the efforts of the Turning Point Church of McDonough.

A gas buy-down event was held, Monday, at the Chevron station at 898 Ga. Highway 81 East, in McDonough. Motorists encircled the gas station, in a line that snaked along a side street, and behind the gas station across from the Shoppes at Lake Dow.

With the Turning Point Church paying the difference, members of the church shaved 50 cents off the $3.39 per-gallon price of gasoline at the station, enabling motorists to get gas for just $2.89 per gallon of regular, unleaded. The members also washed windshields for drivers in attendance.

Ben McDonald, worship pastor at Turning Point, said about 3,340 gallons of gas were pumped during the event. He sees the buy-down as an outreach tool for the community, which included inviting the public to upcoming events at the church.

"A lot of people want to know what the catch is," he said. "They have a hard time believing something is free, or discounted. There is no catch. We just wanted to show that God loves you and cares about you.

"We just really wanted to bless them," McDonald continued. "If they come out to our church, that's awesome. If they come out to another church, that's awesome. It's a seed sown, whether they come to our church or another church. It's not about us. It's about the kingdom of God, and it's about showing people the love that God has for them."

McDonald said, along with ministering to customers at the gas station, Turning Point staff members and volunteers worked to promote other area establishments whose business was affected by the buy-down.

"We understand that the high volume of traffic could deter potential customers for them," the worship pastor said. "So, we helped them by promoting the specials that they had for those hours. It's always great to partner with as many local businesses as we can."

Management at the gas station was not available for comment, Tuesday.

Monday marked the second gas buy-down event this year for Turning Point Church. The first, five months ago on April 18, brought dozens of drivers to the gas station to get 40 cents off the per-gallon price of gasoline.

"So many times, people think the church is just there to take, and that we're just about taking money. We wanted to show people we are here to give, and we're here to be a blessing, and that God's a giver, not a taker," said Turning Point Pastor Michael Turner, in an earlier explanation of the church's gas buy-down effort.