Members at First Methodist Church in Biloxi church decided to skip service Sunday to do a little spring cleaning. The congregation wasn't playing hooky, it was actually the pastor's idea.
First Methodist Pastor Gary Thompson says the goal is still about praise and worship.
"Worshipping is praising God and giving thanks to God and that's what we are doing. We are just doing it outside and helping people and serving rather than sitting in pews today and singing, we're out in the community serving and it's still worship," says Thomspon.
The idea came to Pastor Thompson while attending a conference in California.
"I walked into the convention center and there was a great big sign that read: Don't Go to Church. And I said I came to this conference to get people to come to church, what's this about," says Thompson.
However, after getting a closer look, Pastor Thompson realized the message was: Don't go to church, BE the church. So members packed their supplies and headed out to several communities along the coast; including a home that's close to their hearts. It belongs to Frenchy and Betty Duhon. Church members helped the couple rebuild their home after Katrina and now just months after moving in, the Duhons say they are excited that the church is back to help them finish the job.
"We were so thrilled. There was no way that we could have done this by ourselves. We didn't have the finances. We didn't have the strength. If we didn't have some private grants and help from the church, we wouldn't have done it," says homeowner Betty Duhon.
The pastor says that's reason enough to cancel church.
Members of First Methodist Church also worked on Porter Circle and Bayview Avenue in Biloxi.