Mount Olive spreads gratitude


Cynthia Mingo, a member of Mount Olive AME Church, right, laughs as she introduces the Rev. Charles Morris, pastor of Bethel AME Church in Pensacola, at the “Praise the Lord for Another Day Breakfast.”

LEE FERINDEN/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 2:22 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 2:22 p.m.

Two testimonials about how God will keep His children out of harm's way was the highlight of a prayer breakfast that focused on thanking God for every moment of life.

Facts

MOUNT OLIVE AME CHURCH

Pastor: The Rev. Richard Allen Brown IV.
Location: 721 SE 8th St.
Services: Sunday school is 9:30 a.m., followed by morning worship at 11 a.m. Bible study is 7 p.m. Wednesday for adults and young adults.
Phone: 352-378-9051.

At the "Praise the Lord for Another Day Breakfast" sponsored by the Mount Olive AME Church Susie Long Missionary Society, Dr. Leila Pratt, co-area president of the AME Women's Missionary Society, and Mary Lewis, a member of Greater Bethel AME Church in Gainesville, told stories about how God kept them from danger.

The breakfast was attended by more than 30 people and held Saturday morning at Mount Olive in southeast Gainesville.

The late Long, namesake of the society, was an extremely active missionary and longtime member of Mount Olive, said Cynthia Mingo, a member of Mount Olive and the local president of the AME Women's Missionary Society. Mingo said the breakfast was held simply to get people up early in the morning to praise God for allowing them to live another day.

"Tomorrow is not promised to us and we know that, and we wanted to get up this morning and fellowship with our minds steady on praising God," Mingo said.

Pratt, a member of St. Paul AME Church in Windsor, talked about how God led her to drive she and her husband to a church service one night. She said her husband normally drives, but she drove that time, and after parking in their usual spot, God told her to move to another spot.

"My husband told me to move the car back to our normal spot, but I told him I couldn't," Pratt said. "A moment later, an oak tree fell right in the spot where we normally park. Hallelujah!"

Lewis told a story about how she stopped by her mother's house in Alachua years ago before taking a trip to Ocala. She said her mother and a friend were in the house talking and her mother's friend kept asking her questions. Lewis said she was annoyed because the woman was delaying her from getting to Ocala, but she soon found out that the delay might have saved her life.

"When I got to Williston Road and 13th Street, there was a big accident there, and I probably would have been in it had I not been at my mother's house talking to that woman," Lewis said. "Sometimes, God is not holding us up, he is keeping us from danger."

Hattie Blake, a member of Christian Adventures Fellowship Inc. in Gainesville, presided over the service, which featured a performance by two members, Patricia Jackson and Cynthia Mingo of the Fullness of Joy Praise Dancers, an adult praise dance group at Mount Olive.

Vivian Filer, a member of Mount Olive, led an "ice breaker," during which she passed out statements for each person to read, asking parishioners to come up with a prayer suggestion related to the statement.

Also, the Rev. Charles Morris of Bethel AME Church in Pensacola, who was visiting Gainesville, gave the society a donation of more than $200 from a group of members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., who were in town over the weekend for a reunion.

Blake, the presider of the breakfast, acknowledged her 98-year-old mother, Mae Bertha Burney, who has been a member of Mount Olive since 1955. She said Burney, who was sporting a wide, bright smile, was bedridden for more than a year before God decided to restore her health.

"You know, many people who went to bed last night didn't wake up this morning," Blake said. "Let us praise the Lord for another day, because it surely is a blessing. God is truly worthy to be praised."

There also was a program on Sunday afternoon, with the missionary societies "Sharing What God Had Allowed Them to Do for His People."

Lewis represented Greater Bethel, Mingo represented Mount Olive in Gainesville and Dora Bright represented Mount Olive in Evinston. Filer, a member of the Greater Gainesville Black Nurses Association, also shared what the organization was allowed to do for God's people.

Also, Antwan Turner played "Amazing Grace" on the zyphone and Children of God and Fullness of Joy performed praise dances.

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