Prentiss United Methodist Church awarded for mission work
Published 3:23 pm Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Prentiss United Methodist Church was named Over-all Church of the Year at the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church following its recognition as Hattiesburg District Church of the Year.
Throughout the years members of Prentiss UMC have been involved in mission, local and worldwide. Several members of the church have become actively involved by going on trips with mission teams to places like Nicaragua and Honduras.
In recent years the church as a whole has increased its awareness and involvement in mission efforts. Their mission work is within the local church, the community, the state and the world.
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The church has had food drives for the Edwards Street food pantry, provided money and workers to serve the students at USM Wesley foundation, and money for other agencies of the United Methodist Church when called upon.
Since Prentiss UMC has members that are directly involved in mission trips to places outside the U.S., it is necessary to mention our flpill packing” gatherings.
A church member, who is a pharmacist, acquires the vitamins and other medicines that are to be distributed to people in Honduras. He, along with his wife, invites people to help put the medicines in individual packages. This allows the community to work together and participate in God’s work. The response of the members of Prentiss UMC and the other churches has been great. The Christian fellowship that they enjoy is spiritually uplifting to all, and it draws attention to the efforts of PUMC to reach out to the community and the world.
The medical mission trips of the pharmacist and his wife brought more awareness of the importance of mission to the community. While on a trip to Nicaragua, they met a young man, Israel Castillo, whose family was involved in missions in their native country. They learned of his desire to get a medical degree and then return as a medical missionary. They brought him to their home in Prentiss, and helped him get enrolled at Pearl River Community College. He will graduate PRCC this spring and continue his journey to medical school.
Israel has been active in churches in the area speaking, singing and just sharing the love of Christ with all that he meets. Through his commitment others see evidence of what the mission work of PUMC is doing at home and in other places. All who have assisted in the efforts of the mission teams, such as pill packing, know that they have had a part in sharing the gospel. Israel’s presence in the community affirms that.
Prentiss UMC also has a noon time devotional service each Wednesday followed by lunch. This service is open to anyone who wishes to attend, and it provides fellowship for people throughout the county. Through this service the church has been able to reach out to the needs of several in the community. It has also helped develop relationships with members of other churches, black and white, as well as some who have no church.
In short, it cultivates unity within the community.
Prentiss UMC has recently begun a youth program that serves youth within the community, not just youth of PUMC. This group traveled to Lucedale in June and helped in home construction efforts for needy families as part of their mission work.
Prentiss UMC has opened its doors and hearts to others and reaches out in ministry to the world through its work and gifts. In doing so, it has brought the community’s attention that Prentiss UMC is carrying out the Great Commission.