- Written by Dr. Sybil C. Mitchell
This Saturday (April 7) has been decreed “a day of miracles” by Bishop Brandon B. Porter and the Greater Community Temple family.
“Ministry is finding a need and then meeting that need. We are called to discern hurts and heal them. What better way to demonstrate the love of God than addressing the needs of those who are suffering? Our church name says it all – Greater Community Temple. Our vision is to build a greater community of believers by reaching out to support Mid-South families in need…”
| Bishop Brandon B. Porter once again will guide the “Miracles in Memphis outreach to help those facing financial hardships. (Courtesy photo)|
“We’re going to need the help of all those who believe in giving,” said Porter. It was a reference to “Miracles in Memphis,” which he and the church organized to demonstrate the love, care and concern of Jesus Christ by providing thousands of dollars in clothing, food and healthcare services to those who may be experiencing financial hardship.
“Our doors will be open all day on Good Friday to receive monetary gifts, household items, clothing, and personal hygiene products,” said Porter. “More than 400 families were represented at the inaugural event last year. Because so many more families are in need, we expect for that number to nearly double.”
Thousands are projected to convene on Greater Community Temple COGIC at the church’s south Memphis location, 5151 Winchester Rd., from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
“Greater Community Temple was the first church to act as a satellite location for distributing government cheese and other aid to north Memphis residents,” said Barron McGlothlin, the church’s event planner. “We believe that we can’t feed people spiritually until we feed them physically. We become the conduit for God’s provision. The power to make miracles happen lies in us.”
In addition to food and clothing, three additional outreach efforts have been added to this year’s occasion: free healthcare screenings, a job fair and gas cards.
“My father, Bishop W.L. Porter, started Greater Community Temple in its original location at 924 North Dunlap. I was 12 years old at the time, and I watched him reach out to people in the surrounding community. He had a very benevolent heart, and I’m committed to carrying on that legacy of giving. That is just who we are,” said Porter
Because the event takes place on the eve of Easter Sunday, baskets, dresses, and suits will be given to all the children.
“We’re calling it ‘Good Saturday’ because it follows Good Friday, said Porter. “Many families have no health insurance and need to be screened for things like diabetes and high blood pressure. Many are in need of securing gainful employment. The job fair will address that need.
“We decided to provide gas cards since prices are so high at the pump,” he said. “We gave out gas cards last year, but it was kind of an impromptu thing. A lady shared that she didn’t have enough gas to return home for our church. She believed that God would somehow make a way for her to get home. That’s how the gas cards became a vital part of our effort.”
A challenge to churches and businesses
When the church doors open early Friday morning, other churches, sororities, fraternities, social and civic organizations, individuals, and local-area businesses are being asked to donate non-perishable food, new or slightly worn clothing, household supplies, toiletries, and monetary gifts.
“I’m off from work on my present job, but I’ll be at the church all day to receive the clothing and other donations,” said McGlothlin. “Miracles in Memphis helps us grow in stature and grace. Jesus paid the ultimate price for us. He gave His life. We are most like Him when we are found giving,
“Outreach must always show forth the love of God, and those who need to experience that unconditional love are those outside the church walls,” said McGlothlin. “Jesus’ ministry took place, not in church, but outside where people were. He turned over tables inside the church. But healing, deliverance, and His teaching were witnessed outside. We must be relevant in addressing practical needs. That is real ministry.”
Miracles in Memphis will take place on the church grounds on Winchester Road.
“We like to say that we’re not new to this, but we’re true to this,” said Porter.
(For more information, or to make a donation, call 901-527-9255, or visit www.gctministries.org.)