Photo by Elaine Rackley
Higher Living Christian Church Elder William Hill (center) took a break with other clergy volunteering at the second annual Association of Christian Ministers of Clayton County Thanksgiving Dinner.
RIVERDALE — “Every day is a day of Thanksgiving,” said New Macedonia Baptist Church Pastor Gerry T. Anderson as he led prayer during the second annual Association of Christian Ministers of Clayton County Thanksgiving Dinner.
The ministers’ association’s Thanksgiving Dinner was held Thursday at Charles Drew High School in Riverdale.
More than 350 people were fed during the Thanksgiving event, said Teresa Pugh, Trinity Community Church Pastor and coordinator of the event.
“We do this for the love of the community and for the love of people,” Pugh said. “Because there are so many people that are not seen as in need. Yet, they are suffering because nobody sees them. We have over 2,000 students in Clayton County schools who are homeless.”
Pugh said a lot of people are unable to travel to the Hosea Feed the Hungry event in Atlanta.
“So, we are providing free Thanksgiving dinners, clothing including winter coats, blankets and health screenings here in Clayton County,” Pugh added.
An estimated 300 people were given clothing, according to Pugh.
Pastor James E. Harris of Dixon Grove Baptist Church, president-elect of the Association of Christian Ministers of Clayton County, is scheduled to take office in January. Harris said the purpose of the event was to fellowship with people who are less fortunate.
“They may need a comforting word on this Thanksgiving Day to remind them that God is still in charge,” he said.
Jonesboro residents Michael Wright and Walter Bland attended the Thanksgiving dinner, where they received clothing.
“This has truly been a blessing, for people to come together like this during these hard economic times,” Wright said. “It shows the face of God. We are unemployed and both of us are on disability.”
The men were given two suits, two dress shirts and two sweaters, Wright added.
“I think it is lovely for people to think about the poor,” Bland said.
Bishop Jerome Dukes, of Community of Fellowship Christian Center International, said the ministerial association wanted to show the community the love of Jesus.
“That love must be expressed through our physical efforts,” Dukes said. “This is God, reaching out to his people. We see a lot of negative news about Clayton County. We want people to know that Clayton is a great community with great people who have a great future.”
Higher Living Christian Church Elder William Hill said the ministers’ association wanted to make a deposit of food, and clothing into the lives of the less fortunate to let them know that the county’s clergy care.
“We want to be able to extend God’s love to others,” Hill said. “That is a priceless blessing and I am humbled to play a small part in making a difference in the lives of others.”
The event featured blood pressure, glucose screenings and other health screenings. Nearly 120 people were checked out during the health screenings, according to Jimeah Herring, a volunteer of the screenings.
Solomon Pearson, 17, was among the volunteers. Pearson is a junior at Drew High.
“I wanted to give back to the community,” Pearson said. “I hope that if I go out and help somebody, they will be inspired to help somebody else.”