My wife and I recently had the time of our lives on a trip to Alabama. We drove down from Tulsa to be a with some of the most wonderful people in the world. It has become practically our home and family away from our home and family. The place is Perdido, AL just a few miles east of Bayminette, a few more mile east of Mobile, just North of Gulf Shores and just west of Pensacola, FL. Brother Jerry and Sister Helen are the Pastors of the church. I have always heard the church reffered to as Fretwell Tabernacle but the offical sign says "Free Pentecostal Holiness Church". The people are very country and many of them live out in the "woods". They are some of the hardest trying, hardest working, lovingest, best people that we have ever come across. They work with drug addicts, trouble teens, broken homes, you name it and are doing a great job of building a church. Brother and Sister Stewart are some of the workingest, runningest, lovingest people that anyone ever knew, and they run a church "wide open".
This second photo is of Brother Danny Ray and Sister Flossie, they are assistant Pastors at Fretwell Tabernacle. He runs the services and preaches a lot of times etc. This is an extremely blessed couple of people. Out of this one little church there are all kinds of ministries at any given time. They run feeding programs, transporting children back and forth, community welfare to help pay bills, counselling and so forth. Not to metion all of the church services, singings, etc. etc. One of these singings is exactly the reason why my wife and I went down this particular time.
The Fretwell church sponsored a singing and benefit supper to raise money for HMA. The money is specifically to go toward our newest project called "The Disciple House". The Disciple House will be an overnight stay facility where young men can come and be engulfed in 24 hours a day worth of work, teaching, training, church, question and answer time, prayer and many other things to help them get delivered from addictions, bad behavior and sometimes just themselves. We are currenlty in an ongoing fundraiser for this project and this concert was part of that fundraising.
The singing was amazing. Sister Grace Church and her family and band from Birmingham, came and donated thier time and talents and just blew me away with thier singing and sweet spirit. I was able to purchase a couple of thier CD's and I love them. We appreciate so much what they did to help out the cause. Besides just Sister Grace and thier group we had local singers. The Baggett Family and the The Davis Family sang in turn and as always they blessed us tremendously. These local groups were born and raised as best I know in this deep south, gulf area and they have always been associated with Fretwell Tabernacle. They each have thier own special sound and they all interchange and work together so well.
People came from all around the region that night to eat, donate, play, sing, listen and fellowship. We had the priveledge of meeting many new friends and re-aquainting with old ones. I have great hopes of this becoming one of several annual events for HMA and the cause of reaching the least, the last and the lost. By the end of the night, $5,000.00 had been raised for the help of the homeless/rehabilitation facility. God bless everyone and all that you have done. Only God knows who all helped and just how much you really did. I pray that He rewards you openly and abundantly.
Before leaving the area we were priveledged to preach a couple of services at Fretwell and oh how the glory did roll. If you have never been to one of these services then you have no idea what I am talking about. Imagine a little country church off in the woods that can seat about 200 people that ends up holding about 3 or 4 hundred instead. Opening prayer, wonderful congregational singinging ringing throughout the area. Special songs by sweet spirited people. Tear filled testimonies of physical healings, hearts, homes and husbands being touched and helped. Very small children standing up and saying "I love Jesus" and quickly sitting back down with big smiles and blushed faces, troubled teenagers asking for prayer and guidance, a message from an elder, a word from The Word........then an invitation given either by God or man and then.........then.........alcoholics, addicts, the broken, the bitter, the hurting, the helpless and everyone else with a need or a praise begin to make thier way around the front for a time of refreshing, healing, forgiveness and stregth. GLORY!!!
For the record, these other pictures I just could not help but put in. These are pictures of families: preachers, teachers, singers, from the Fretwell church that, along with many, many others, helped put on the singing and the supper and help with all the day to day activities of the church. I also included one of the banners that was put up in the community to advertise the benefit. Each time that the church has an event they have several of these big banners made up and they put them out all around the greater Bay Minette, Alabama area. This church is "famous" in that part of the country for thier giving, thier love and thier moral standards thier ability to pull together and help people in need. I know that it sounds like I am really building this one group up and I know that we have a lot of good Godly people in this world but believe me, this is a special bunch.
My wife and I were only able to be there for four day but we were blessed beyond measure and enjoyed every minute of it. Before we left I was able to take my wife to Gulf Shores for a little shooping and a nice dinner on the beach. We then drove back to Oklahoma where I needed to get some book work and ground game done for the mission. I was in Oklahoma for four days and then my wife finally stayed home with the kids while I left agian to go to Georgia and Florida. Next stop...Georgia.