Pastor reaches out to youth with back-to-school event

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, July 11, 2012


A local church is taking the Biblical message “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it,” to the community with a back-to-school bash.

Pastor Timothy Williams and the congregation at Opp’s Evangelist Temple Church of God in Christ will hold the bash July 28 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the church located at 601 Gavin Street.

“The reason we do it is to motivate kids and keep them encouraged to stay in school,” Williams said. “The drop out rate is so high. We want to encourage them to reach their dreams and to make good grades.”

Williams said this year is the fourth year the church has sponsored the event.

“We bring in motivational speakers to show the students that they can excel,” he said. “We have had former NFL players like James Logan speak. This year, we have Sen. Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery, coming to motivate and reach them. We want them to realize that you don’t have to push drugs. You can excel.”

Williams said four years ago, the Lord laid this ministry on his heart.

“When I came to Opp, there was nothing like this going on. You didn’t have pastors reaching this community,” he said. “Mayor (H.D.) Edgar has been very supportive. I told him what I wanted to do and he helped us get the building, which is in the old Hideaway Club.”

Williams said each year they have more than 200 children come to hear the message, get a free lunch and free school supplies.

“We have kids from Opp and all over Covington County come,” he said. “We have kids from Dozier, Goshen, Florala and even parts of Florida who need our help.”

“There are a lot of kids who don’t have school supplies,” he said. “In talking with local principals, I know there is a big need for this. These parents see it in the newspaper and they come.”

But Williams’ ministry to young people doesn’t start and stop with a back-to-school bash.

“We have a lot of young people who come to our church,” he said. “We have really made it a focus and our church is young. We are going back to reach our young people for the Lord.”

Williams is a member of a Montgomery-based men’s organization that is going to help him with his outreach.

“We’re going to start an abstinence program, and really express the reasons for not having sex until marriage,” he said. “The AIDS epidemic is really bad here. I know a lot of people probably don’t know that, but it is, and we don’t want our young people to fall victim to that. We also want to cut down on the number of teen pregnancies. We’re going to do our best to help remedy the situation.”

Still, Williams said he needs the community’s help to make the back-to-school event possible.

“We’ve had a company donate chicken and we’re going to barbecue,” he said. “We need donations of drinks and cakes and paper products.”

They also need school supply donations.

To donate supplies or volunteer your time, call 334-447-4955.