How It Should Be Done

by Roy Eaton, editor  (Published Thursday, December 28, 2006, Wise County Messenger)

Finally, before the New Year overtakes us, I want to say a good word about the folks of the Oak Grove United Methodist Church, north of Decatur.

Jeannine and I went to the church one Sunday last fall to one of their “Fifth Sunday” gospel singings orchestrated by Blake Boyd.  The small sanctuary was filled with people who enjoy good church music.

“We sang songs that you don’t need a song book for,” I happily told Jeannine after the service.  There were solos from Shirley Wood and a trio of Oak Grove women who made gospel music soar.  If you can imagine triple pianos played with style by Sue Harris, Barbara King and Blake, you know how great it was.  If Oak Grove had a fourth piano and Pat McDonald had been there to play it, you could have heard the great music all over Wise County.

But music isn’t the only reason I respect the Oak Grove church—I admire their community involvement—not only in the beautiful rural area where the church is located—but all over Wise County.

Oak Grove was among the first to step up to try to organize a Habitat for Humanity organization in Wise County and the men of the church built a beautiful playhouse and sold chances on it to raise the first substantial money for Habitat, the organization that builds homes for the needy.

A year ago, when our county firefighters were in desperate need of financial help, as Extension Agent Gary Clayton and others planned a fund-raising event at the Decatur Civic Center, the ladies of Oak Grove were among the first to say, we want to be a part of it.  They furnished part of the food for the event.

In my simple Methodist way, Oak Grove represents what a church should be.  At the church I attend, at the end of the worship service, the minister asks “Our worship will soon be over, where will we go and what will we do?”  The congregations responds “We will go out to be God’s people in the world.”

The good folks at Oak Grove live that commitment.