TUPELO – More than 250 gathered in the Link Centre last night to express their belief that, even though times are tough, God’s blessings abound.
The Greater Tupelo Community Thanksgiving Service brought together people from at least 10 area congregations to worship under the same roof.
That vibrant mix is exactly what the members of the Ministerial Alliance, who this year resumed responsibility for planning the event, hoped for.
In a sea of coats and ties, Hal Boerner, a senior at Tupelo High School, looked right at home with his multi-colored head band holding back his locks of curly, shoulder-length hair.
“This is a great thing for the community,” he said, smiling at his young companions.
Throughout the evening, people of faith gave witness as to how God has impacted their lives.
David Parker and his wife, Donna, brought the assembly to silence with a story about losing their newborn daughter.
“I couldn’t have raised my three boys alone,” said David, embracing his wife. “I thank God he let Donna come home from the hospital, and I know I’ll hold my daughter again, someday.”
The Rev. Rocky Tzib, Hispanic minister at Calvary Baptist Church, elicited roars of laughter with his story about the travails of becoming a legal citizen in the United States.
Cobb Gibbs of First United Methodist Church drew a standing ovation for his story of how God saved him from almost certain death after being shot down in World War II.
Midway through the service, the Rev. Randy Wood, music minister at First Baptist Church, decided he wasn’t quite satisfied with the congregation’s participation during the opening number.
Wood smiled broadly, and reaching for his six-string acoustic guitar, suggested everyone have one more go at “How Great is our God.”
The gathering, led by the Voices of Faith, responded by clapping their hands and rocking back and forth in the style of a Southern revival.
As a grand finale, 13 people took the stage to recite the “Charter for Compassion,” a 2008 document, based on collaboration between Jews, Muslims and Christians, which states the basic dignities due to all children of God.
Nine-year-old Tabias Morris ended the evening by thanking God for bringing everyone together. After the service, he was as poised and reflective as a little minister.
“People say we’re not all one family,” said Morris, watching the people as they exited the building. “But, when we all get together like this, God’s will is done.”
Contact Galen Holley at 678-1510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Galen Holley/NEMS Daily Journal