Amazing Grace Worship Center extends community outreach

Kem Blackburn (left), Genia Blankenship, Patsy Lowry and Daphanie McClure are part of the organization team behind Amazing Grace Worship Center’s new community outreach programs. (Reporter photo/Clarke Stackhouse)

Kem Blackburn (left), Genia Blankenship, Patsy Lowry and Daphanie McClure are part of the organization team behind Amazing Grace Worship Center’s new community outreach programs. (Reporter photo/Clarke Stackhouse)

By CLARKE STACKHOUSE/Staff Writer

ALABASTER – Amazing Grace Worship Center is expanding out to the community and hoping to make a difference with new programs geared toward helping people in need.

One of the organizers, Daphanie McClure said the church is beginning three new community outreach programs and hopes they will help to “share the love of Christ.”

Care Clothes Closet is an event set for the third Saturday and fourth Monday of every month from 9a.m-1.p.m. One of the organizers of the Care Clothes Closet, Patsy Lowery, said the closet provides clothing, furniture and more to people in need. Lowry said everything is provided at no cost and donated from members of the church and the community.

“It has amazed me how many donations we have received,” Lowery said. “I feel like we are doing Jesus’ work. Anytime he encountered someone in need, he’d help them. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

She said if any items come in and need a little work, her husband, Rick will fix them to make nice things for people who need them. Lowery said any donations are welcome. She said the closet would not be possible without the support of her husband, community and fellow organizer, Kathy Wiersma.

The church is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. to drop off donations for the Care Clothes Closet. Lowery said people with large donations are welcome to call the church at (205) 664-8484 if they need any special accommodations.

McClure said none of the outreach programs would be possible without Pastor Keven Blankenship and his wife Genia. McClure said Genia was instrumental in helping Clothing for Champions get started at Amazing Grace.

Genia said the First Baptist Church of Alabaster started the campaign and called upon area churches to participate and take a certain number of “champions.”

She said Clothing for Champions works similarly to an angel tree with a family or group of people taking a name of a “champion” and getting them necessary items for the upcoming school year.

She said all the champions are local students in the Alabaster City School district, and the needs of each student will cost around $100 and any number of people can sponsor a student together.

“How ever many people it takes, it takes. We just want to see these students get the things they need,” Genia said. “We want to show the love of God to our youth.”

She said they will collect the supplies through July 31, in time for the new school year to start.

Genia said they plan to launch Soles for Missions Outreach after Clothing for Champions is completed in August. She said Soles for Missions is a non-profit that attempts to fight poverty by collecting and providing shoes to impoverished areas and allowing local people to buy more shoes at a low cost, sell them and keep the profits.

Genia and fellow organizer Kem Blackburn said they are excited to be able to make a lasting change and help create jobs in less fortunate areas.

For more information on Amazing Grace Worship Center and the community outreach programs visit amazinggracewc.org.