Ministers gather in Thomasville -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Ministers gather in Thomasville

June 27, 2007

Thomasville-- Ministers from across south Georgia are gathering this week in Thomasville.   The South Georgia Regional conference of the Christian Episcopal Church is holding it's annual conference there this week.  It's an opportunity to not only discuss business matters of the church but a time of fellowship. 

Clifford Temple church on Lester street usually fills with the congregation of 200. This week around 2,500 CME members from across the state are here.   "We are a connected church, we are a connectional ministry and so when we all come together once a year it allows us to gather," said Rev. William S. Banks, pastor of Clifford Temple.  Leaders from around sixty churches represented in the south Georgia conference will report on progress in their churches.

Bishop Othal H. Lakey says Clifford Temple was chosen for this year's conference because of its historic significance to the church.  "This church Clifford Temple Church is one of our historic churches.  Many of our outstanding leaders have been here in this area," Lakey said.

Just as Thomasville has helped shape the C.M.E. Church, the church has greatly impacted Thomasville.  The church is even represented in the town's leadership. Mayor David Lewis is a member, and Chief of Police Ellis Jackson is an ordained minister in the church.  "The church brings so much to the community. Our mission has always been to inspire people to live better, to do better," said Jackson.

It's those values he's learned his whole life in the church, he credits for bringing him where he is today.  "Some of the people I grew up under inspired me to do well, and to contribute to the community and that's what the C.M.E. church is about," Jackson explained.

Now he and other church leaders hope to be the inspiration for youngsters in the church.  "We're trying to promote education among our people, that's a major focus we have for this week," said Lakey.  

After the conference, leaders hope to take an inspired vision back to their own communities, until they meet again next year.




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