Article by Chris Sokoloski
St. Mary AME Church’s campaign to raise $200,000 to fix its roof got off to a rousing start on July 30 with a “raise the roof” service featuring the district’s presiding bishop.
Approximately 100 people packed the church for the more than two-hour service which featured a sermon by Bishop Samuel L. Green Sr., presiding prelate of the Seventh Episcopal District.
“It’s part of what I believe in my office and part of the mission of the AME church is that we give back to local churches to try to help them as well,” Green said.
Between the donations that were given at the service and others that had already been received, the church’s campaign has received $41,281.
The theme of Green’s sermon was how to get victory from defeat. He told the St. Mary congregants that he was confident that they could raise the money to fix the roof.
“This is $200,000 you’re raising for God’s house,” Green said. “All you have to do is put it in God’s hands and God will make the difference. … God is bigger than this roof.”
Other local pastors who took part in the service were: Dr. Sandy W. Drayton, presiding elder, Georgetown District; the Rev. Harvey Doctor of St. John AME Church; the Rev. Carl Anderson of Greater St. Stephens AME Church; the Rev. Kelly Spann II of St. Paul AME Church; the Rev. Michael Burgess of Singleton Chapel AME Church; the Rev. Dr. Betty R. Deas-Clark of Historic Bethel AME Church; and the Rev. Brian Swinton of Arnett AME Church.
Pastors from Waccamaw Neck churches of other denominations were also in attendance to lend their support, as were representatives from surrounding districts.
After Green finished his sermon, he implored the people gathered to give generously to the roof fund. He personally brought a check for $10,000.
The Rev. Rose M. Stokes-Smalls, St. Mary’s pastor, said on many occasions when Green visits a church in the district he will bring a donation to pay for a repair or something else the church needs.
Several of the pastors gave donations of $1,000 or $2,000, some from their churches, some from themselves, and some a combination of both. The members of St. Mary’s roof committee gave $8,484.
Green said he was “very pleased” with the attendance and the amount of donations, and praised the “faithfulness” of the St. Mary’s congregants.
To make a donations to the St. Mary roof fund, send a check to St. Mary AME Church, P.O. Box 285, Pawleys Island SC 29585.
For more information on other ways to help, call the church at 843-813-7909 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.