Column: Local church ministry “Going Forth”

Published 11:49 am Monday, August 7, 2023

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By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith | Community Columnist

The Great Commission Christian Center will host a free Sunday lunch giveaway on Aug. 27 as part of their mission to “go forth” and share the gospel as Christ commanded. (LENARD ROGERS | CONTRIBUTED)

“Out of the Walls” — a ministry of The Great Commission Christian Center in Clanton centers itself around the biblical scripture Matthew 28:19 which says, “Therefore, go forth and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have ever commanded you.”

This month, the church will host Church in the Park and a free meal giveaway as part of their initiative to honor that commandment.

“We go out into the community and share the Gospel because that is what Jesus did,” said senior pastor Lenard Rogers. “Jesus spent more time in the community than he did in the synagogue. His ‘Great Commission’ outlines that he wants us to ‘go fourth and teach all nations.’”

The ministry, “Out of the Walls” (OTW) focuses on providing church services and resources to those in the community who may not attend church due to transportation issues or those that do not have a regular church home. During warm months, the church hosts bi-monthly outdoor church services in local parks. The next church service is planned for Aug. 13 at 10:30 a.m. at E.M. Henry Park in West End, 413 14th Street, Clanton.

“I came from a generation that dressed up for church, but one of the unique experiences about having an outdoor church service is that people dress to be comfortable,” said Rogers. “There are no walls surrounding you and people feel more comfortable and relaxed in that type of setting.”

Rogers said that the outdoor services are under a tent and bleachers are provided, but attenders are welcome to bring lawn chairs, umbrellas and picnic baskets. The church provides refreshments after service during a time of fellowship.

“We want to make a connection during the time of fellowship,” said Rogers. “It is our opportunity to get to know one another and pray for one another if requested.”

The OTW Ministry of The Great Commission Christian Center is also hosting a free lunch plate giveaway for the community (dine in or carry out) on Aug. 27 from noon to 2:00 p.m. at their church, 407 Second Ave. South, Clanton.

“Our church members prepare meals through the resources that God has provided,” said Rogers. “People are welcome to pick up plates or we have a dining area that can accommodate about 50 people. We also plan to deliver meals to seniors that are unable to come.”

During the last meal giveaway, the ministry gave out approximately 200 free plates to the community. Rogers is hopeful that the events will encourage people to come participate and receive a blessing.

“We want you to come,” said Rogers. “You don’t have to bring anything, just bring yourself.”

For more information contact Rogers at 205-217-0655.