Small church goes big


Friendship United Methodist Church’s collection of 125 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.

Friendship United Methodist Church may have a small congregation but a big heart.

FRIENDSHIP — In a time when folks are not able to do so much of what they would like to do, a small church has went way above what one might have thought could be done in a drive to help others during the holidays.

Friendship United Methodist Church with only 20 members attending, the church has supersized their support for Operation Christmas Child in hopes to help as many as possible this year.

“Friendship United Methodist Church is trying to do our part to help out even in these hard times,” church member William Tipton said. “The Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child has been one of our missions for several years, but this year we were afraid we would have to cancel, but our church members said no this ministry is needed now more than ever.”

In the previous years, The church had set a goal of 100 shoeboxes and usually have fallen a little short. This year the few members attending (20) because of the virus doubled down and have filled 125 shoeboxes.

Tipton shared the church really stepped up this year, with COVID blocking so much, and the small group was able to do what some larger churches have done. Despite the Coronavirus, Tipton said, the virus couldn’t stop the church’s giving nature and the fine people who made sure it didn’t stop their way of reaching out to others.

“It is about the same story with our outreach to help with the Thanksgiving Holiday,” Tipton said. “Again, how are we going to do the shopping this year with so few active members and most not wanting to spend additional time in grocery stores? We decided to do gift cards from our local IGA. So, with the help of a local Gideon providing us with the small Gideon Bible, we tucked the gift cards inside the Bible (feeding the body and the spirit) and passed them out to 20 families. We plan to do a similar activity for Christmas.”

The church, which is pastored by Greg Carter, has a few children but is not doing Sunday School and only a couple are coming to church because of the virus, but even that couldn’t stop them.

“The good Lord has given us much and to those that much is given is required. So we do these things not for our glory but for the glory of God. We want the people around the world and here in this community to know that God loves them,” Tipton said.

Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights