Grafton Baptist Church dedicates 137 Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes
|From left are Grafton Baptist Church Pastor Lewis H. Johnson Sr., First Lady Sister Joyce Johnson, Dr. Eleanor Robinson Morris, and Operation Christmas Child co-chairs Sisters Diane Hooks and Mae Burke. Not pictured is church clerk Maxine McGee.|
During the morning worship on November 13, Pastor Lewis H. Johnson Sr. led the dedication of Operation Christmas Child (OCC) shoe boxes at Grafton Baptist Church in Hartfield. The congregation joined in the dedication.
In 2012 the OCC project was launched at Grafton by Dr. Eleanor Robinson Morris, who grew up in the church and moved away upon graduating from St. Clare Walker High School in 1953. Returning to her roots in 2012, she introduced her home church to this ministry project.
Grafton eagerly accepted the challenge and prepared 55 boxes in 2012. “The project was off and running with God’s blessings,” said a church spokesperson.
In 2013, 110 boxes were dedicated; 2014, 119 boxes; 2015, 128 boxes, and in 2016, 137 boxes (7 over the goal). Each year has shown an increase, with a total of 549 boxes dedicated.
These boxes join with the millions that are sent to children around the world. They carry the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The boxes go to children ages 2-14.
“Next year we plan to do more,” said the spokesperson. “We are grateful to Pastor Lewis H. Johnson Sr., Mrs. Joyce Johnson, First Lady, Mrs. Maxine McGee, Church Clerk for regularly pushing the Project along with Mrs. Diane Hooks and Ms. Mae Burke for serving as co-chairs with Dr. Morris.
“What a blessing it is to be a part of such a global ministry through The Samaritan’s Purse Ministry of Franklin Graham. We extend thanks to our Grafton Baptist Church family and friends from as far as Pittsburgh, Pa., Maryland, and New Jersey for their donations over the past five years, and to our local contributors,” said the spokesperson.
In 2013, 2014 and 2015, under the leadership of Deacon James Griffin of Grafton, president of the Tri-County Deacons and Deaconess Ministry, 70 shoe boxes, which were recorded separately from the Grafton count, also were donated.
“Also, thanks to Deacon Stanley Gresham our Grafton Baptist Church photographer,” said the spokesperson.