Ministry recognizes clergy

Pastors honored at the Clergy Recognition Dinner were Minister Harold Mims, from left, and Prophetess Belinda Mims of Dominion Praise Center; Byers Hickmon, who accepted on behalf of his wife, Minister Tracey Hickmon; Pastor Jack Donovan of Highlands Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Marcia Mobley of Heaven Bound Ministries; the Rev. Sarah McKinley of First United Methodist Church; Associate Pastor Johnny Boswell of PASSAGE Family Church; Prophet George Young III of Deep Sea Ministries and Starboard Ministries; Pastor Kevin Thorpe of Faith Church, and the Rev. Freddie Hickmon of Miracle Temple Church.

BRAD McCLENNY/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 2:56 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 2:56 p.m.

Known for its outreach work to clothe, feed and house the needy in the community, Lazarus Restoration Ministries Inc. turned the tables and recognized other members of the clergy for their work to make the community a better place to live and work.

The group sponsored its first Clergy Recognition Dinner on Oct. 21 at Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church to show appreciation to several pastors and ministers for their work to help residents enjoy a better quality of life.

James Nelson, executive director of Lazarus Restoration Ministries, said members of the clergy are often not recognized for what they do. He added that his organization felt it would be appropriate to do so during October, which is National Clergy Appreciation Month.

"We just want to show them a little bit of love," said Nelson, as he gave the welcome and occasion. "Tonight, we are here to recognize a few of the men and women who have done so much to help people in the community."

Those honored were:

* Pastor Johnny Boswell Jr., associate pastor of Global Missions and Evangelism at PASSAGE Family Church in Gainesville.

* Pastor Jack Donovan of Highlands Presbyterian Church in Gainesville.

* Pastor Gerard Duncan of Prayers by Faith Family Ministries in Gainesville.

* The Rev. Dr. Freddie L. Hickmon of Miracle Temple Church in High Springs.

* Minister Tracey Hickmon, Rebuilding Community Outreach Coordinator with the Gainesville Police Department.

* The Rev. Sarah McKinley of First United Methodist Church in Gainesville.

* Minister Harold and Prophetess Belinda Mims of Dominion Fellowship Praise Center in Gainesville.

* The Rev. Marcia Mobley of Heaven Bound Ministries in LaCrosse.

* Pastor Kevin Thorpe of Faith Church in Gainesville.

* Prophet George Young III of Deep Sea Ministries and Starboard Ministries in Gainesville.

Gordon Tremaine, CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County, delivered the keynote speech, and there were solos by Minister Palenthia Boswell and Minister Armon Lowery, both of PASSAGE Family Church, and Lady P.J. Ross of East Palatka Holy Temple of God. Also, Dominc James of PASSAGE Family Church recited his original poem titled "No One in the World," which is a unique version of a song with the same title recorded in 1986 by Anita Baker.

Lazarus Restoration Ministries Inc. is a 501c3 faith-based community outreach program that provides transitional housing, clothing, food and other assistance to homeless and indigent people in the community.

The organization will be collecting non-perishable food items and winter wear from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Mondays at 3019 NE 20th Way, one block west of Sonny's Barbecue on Waldo Road.

During his speech, Tremaine talked about the important role the Early Learning Coalition plays in helping needy families, which tied perfectly into the reason why the dinner was held in the first place. Tremaine, who served as an Episcopalian minister for 25 years, used Matthew 25:40 to sum up the work being done by the honorees, the Early Learning Coalition and Lazarus Restoration Ministries.

"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me,'" Tremaine said.

To make a donation and for more information about Lazarus, call 352-317-3928 or 352-281-2577.

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