Council looks at city, churches working together on projects

By ED HOWELL, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 4/19/17

CARBON HILL - The Carbon Hill City Council on Monday discussed setting up a meeting with local churches to discuss having a method where churches have a calendar of community service or fellowship programs that the city could sponsor, although …

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Council looks at city, churches working together on projects

Posted

CARBON HILL - The Carbon Hill City Council on Monday discussed setting up a meeting with local churches to discuss having a method where churches have a calendar of community service or fellowship programs that the city could sponsor, although details still have to be worked out.

At a workshop Monday, Joey Vick of Nauvoo Church of God and Scott McCullar of First Baptist Church came to the meeting to listen to ideas proposed by District 1 Councilman McClain Burrough.

Burrough said many church officials said they were not sure they could come to the meeting but expressed support. He and the pastors said a separate meeting devoted to just that idea could be helpful. Others suggested a committee could be put together.

“I’ve been mainly talking to Brother Scott over here,” Burrough said. “I’ve gotten in touch with all the churches in the community, and everyone seemed interested in teaming up with the city to do some type of community service project.” 

Mayor Mark Chambers said the recent citywide cleanup was so successful, with about 60 people showing up. Doing something in the next month might help keep a momentum, while people are still interested in volunteering, he mayor said.

If the city waited too long, people would lose interest.

Burrough said he thought a quarterly project could be done on a regularly basis, although he didn’t not know the best way to involve the churches.

He said the city could, for example, promote the First Baptist Church’s annual Thanksgiving project.

“We could team up with some of the things y’all are already doing, and plus some of the things we want to do, and just work together,” he said.

McCullar said as for the Thanksgiving project, he would welcome the city or other churches helping, as it currently involves First Baptist and First United Methodist Church of Carbon Hill. However, he noted the Methodist minister, Diane Marie Housler, is being reassigned, leaving some uncertainty in future planning.

“If we could just have the help of the city in promoting it, and then maybe some of the council members could show up to help and volunteer. Those type of things would go a long way in helping us minister to this community,” he said. “It something that brings us together.” 

Burrough said on a quarterly basis with eight churches, two churches could team up each quarter, with the city helping to promote, such as through its website and on its Facebook page. Officials talked about how various projects could be done, ranging from mowing lawns to helping with a city prison ministry.

McCullar suggested allowing the pastors to form a steering committee to direct the ideas.

“I think the churches would be better off to come up with the ideas on their own and maybe bring them to you,” he said.

Chambers said not every quarter would necessarily have to be a work project, but instead one that people came to out of enjoyment. Vick noted his church is involved with a Christmas party for the mentally challenged which is a major event.

“This is big, real big. That is something the city or the community might want to get involved with,” he said.

Another church in Dora hosted a special needs prom, sponsored by former quarterback Tim Tebow’s organization, McCullar said.

“Those kind of things can make a big difference of people, and they are not necessarily on a Saturday night,” when sometimes football poses a scheduling conflict.

Burrough said an occasional large community picnic could also be carried out, using the churches to promote the fellowship event. The mayor said gatherings might be best for the coldest and hottest days of the year, when it would be more uncomfortable to work.

Chambers noted the separation between church and state, “but we’re not going to get better without God. I think everyone can agree with that. That’s the only way we’re going to get better.”