Two Vancleave churches cancel Sunday service to volunteer in community

VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - Sunday morning service was canceled at Vancleave and Mount Pleasant United Methodist Churches.  Instead, both churches spent the day serving the needy in several communities.

More than 100 parishioners stepped outside the four walls of their church to spread God's love and do some community service.

"The church has left the building and we have 10 mission projects going on simultaneously in two counties," said Rev. Mary Stewart.

One of the  project's focused on beautifying schools and the central office in Vancleave.

"Vancleave is my home. I go to the middle school over there and it is very special to make it look nice," Cody Bean said.

Cody Bean was one of many who helped out.

"I have been working planting all this stuff and it looks beautiful. Glad we could do it, and it's better than staying in bed all day," Bean said.

A few blocks away, other church members sponsored a food drive.

"You would be amazed how a box of instant mashed potatoes or easy skillet rice can do for a family of four, five or six people that might be sort of down on their luck. That is what we are trying to do, help people who are in need," Holden said.

The volunteers were part of the wheel chair mission project.

"Ms. Tony Holden passed away several years back and had a wheel chair ramp that she no longer needed at her house," Paul Lebatard said. "We are dismantling that wheelchair ramp to be used in other areas or other homes that need a wheelchair ramp."

While the community service jobs were not easy.

"My hands are pretty dirty," said Bean.

The volunteers said just being able to lend a helping hand and serve the community made it all worth it.

"Sometimes in church and ministry you can actually get bogged down, and it gets into a routine when you just go and sit in church for an hour every Sunday. This gets us out in the community," Holden said.

The volunteers also spent time feeding the hungry and homeless, as well as, visiting nursing homes. This marks the third year the churches have sponsored the community service event.

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