GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - By Elizabeth Vowell – email
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - While most people are focused on getting BP to clean up the beaches, The Tabernacle of Faith Church is taking a different route.
"One of the things I learned when I was coming up and that is, if you see something that needs to be done, fix it. We know that the city and everybody else is busy. We know that there is an economic crisis. We know that funds are short," said Rev. Anthony Thompson.
Congregation members set out at 8:00 a.m. cleaning ditches and sprucing up yards around the church. According to volunteers, the program called "People with a Mind to Work" goes back to basic principles.
"Love thy neighbor as you love thyself. Take care of neighbors. Take care of others in our community," said congregation member Wanda Anderson.
"We need to start holding people accountable," said Thompson. "I feel like as a church in the area, we should set the example and set the tone of how, if we've been given charge of the earth then we should set the example of how you're supposed to clean up."
The program takes the attitude the reverend learned from his mother: When you make a mess, clean up after yourself.
"We don't want to sit back and say give me, give me, give me. We want to go out and have a mind to work and see our work and God will bless our efforts when we put out an effort first," said Thompson.
The church has several volunteer and clean up programs, including Kingdom Festival in October where they plan to do community service and train others to help themselves.
According to Thompson the church receives support for projects from the City of Gulfport, Walmart, Harrison County and Habitat for Humanity.