Sampson Independent

Olive Grove Church serves community

Brenton Williams may only be 8 years old, but he truly understands the importance of doing for others.

Williams, who attends Olive Grove Church, was one of many volunteers who offered their services to the community last week as part of Serve Day 2018.

According to the church pastor, the Rev. Russ Emmanuel, Serve Day is when local churches around the world partner with hundreds of other churches to make a worldwide statement that God loves people, and as a church, Emmanuel and the volunteers showed God’s love through serving.

“Serving is giving unto others without expecting to receive any recognition,” Emmanuel said. “But we are blessing others so they can share this humbling experience.”

The volunteers served a meal to the Clinton Police Department, visited Mary Gran Nursing Center and cleaned and cut down trees on property adjacent to the church of McKoy Street.

“We visited Mary Gran Nursing Home with multiple teams to spend a little time with and have prayer with the patients,” Emmanuel said.

Brittany Locklear, senior administrative support specialist for the Clinton Police Department, said the staff and officers enjoy sharing time with Olive Grove Church.

“This was the second year that pastor Russ and his church came to fellowship and sustain our officers with good food to eat,” Locklear explained. “Clinton Police Department is forever grateful for the relationship built with pastor Russ and Olive Grove. Serving the department with a meal is only one thing the church does for the police department. They are always very wiling to join us in any event. No price can be put on the value of Olive Grove Church and their mission to serve our community.”

According to Emmanuel, the purpose of this event is to establish serving as a culture in the church by compelling people to become what Jesus was to us, a servant and to impact those served by fueling their joy, and hope that this is what faith in God looks like and can lead to.

“Serve Day helps others by giving people the opportunity to experience fulfillment in life by making a difference,” Emmanuel said. “People will show up when they feel their life matters by helping others and this what we call living life on purpose.”

Emmanuel said the reception from the community was very grateful and appreciative of the services being done.

“People were humbled and extremely grateful,” Emmanuel said. “In some cases, feeling like they needed to give back and that is the response we were hoping to spark. By our church utilizing serve day as a catalyst it would impact the lives of others and connect them to Christ. Our mission at Olive Grove Church is to reach people far from God, leading them to experience a God first life. We believe this is done beyond the walls of a building and that life change happens in the context of relationships.”

In the past, the church has cleaned and painted at local schools, and provided police officers with blessing bags filled with personal items the officers could carry around when they are on duty. Non-perishable food items have also been collected and given to the Sampson County Veterans Council to assist veterans in need.

Eight-year-old Brenton Williams helps clean yards and rake during National Serve Day. Brenton Williams helps clean yards and rake during National Serve Day.

By Kristy D. Carter

Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.