MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

September 11, 2013

Church wants to help meet needs

Muskogee’s Seventh-day Adventist Church now has three times the space — and a more convenient location — to help the community.

The church opened its new Community Service Center on Tuesday in a shopping center at the corner of York and Hancock streets.

“We like to help people in the community with their needs,” said center director Mary Juarez. The center offers used clothing of all sizes, plus small appliances, toys and household items.

The center will be open 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays.

“We also expect to give food to the needy in a few weeks,” Juarez said, adding that a food pantry will be set up in a separate room.  

“The location is really a gift from God,” pastor Perry Flerchinger said.

The congregation had operated a community center at its church, 170 N. Country Club Road, until June, Flerchinger said. The church opened a school in the room where the center was located.

“I said ‘let’s pray about a new location’ and God opened doors for us,” he said. “The new location is perfect as an outreach to the community. It’s bigger in size and this miraculous location even has washer and dryer hook-ups.”

Church volunteer Anna Carter said she welcomes the opportunity to wash and dry donated clothing at the center.

“Everything is laundered,” Carter said as she removed lint from a throw blanket. “We get some clothes that would be real nice, but it would be wrinkled.”

Carter said the center is “one of the best projects there is.”

“We give to the community,” she said.

Juarez said many of the clothes and other items came from the center’s previous site. But the church also got plenty of donations for the new location. She showed a stack of 13 boxes full of clothing, personal products and toys.

“The son of one of the volunteers knew we needed items,” Juarez said. “He sorted items and made sure they were clean.”

Volunteer Kathy Jones said the new center has space for exercise classes, cooking classes or seminars. She said she sees the center ministering to people’s physical, spiritual and emotional needs. The clothing and other donations, plus exercise classes, could help physical needs, she said.

“And we always pray for the people who come by so they would receive a blessing,” Flerchinger said, adding that the center also offers books and Christian literature.

“The emotional aspect is that they’re a happier person if we help them out,” Jones said.

“Then they’ll go on to help others,” Flerchinger said.

The center also will offer help to people affected by disasters such as floods and tornados, Jones said. She said several members were trained to work with disaster victims.

“We will work with FEMA and the American Red Cross to make sure donations are distributed,” she said. The Muskogee church also will work with larger Seventh-Day Adventist bodies to help with disaster relief through the state and nation, she said.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

If you go

WHAT: Muskogee Seventh-day Adventist Church Community Service Center.

WHEN: 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays.

WHERE: 1316 S. York St., in the south part of the shopping center.

You can help

The Muskogee Seventh-day Adventist Church Community Service Center accepts donations of good used clothing, small appliances, canned foods and dry foods. Call Kathy Jones at (918) 816-9241. Starting next week, people can call (918) 681-4533 for to offer donations.

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