City Life

Local churches unite to make a difference in Bessemer

A group of local churches have joined forces to make a difference in the Marvel City. The pastors of nine Bessemer churches have formed a group known as Clergy in Action. The ministry group formed officially in June of this year with the stated goal of making their churches an active and visible part of the Bessemer community. “The biggest thing for us is we want to be a consistent presence in the community,” said the Rev. Emmanuel Davis, pastor of First Baptist Church Old Jonesboro. “We want to make sure we are doing events and things that are not just geared towards the church, but are geared towards the community. “Ultimately, our goal is to meet the needs of the community wherever and whatever they may be.” Davis said the organization is looking to start mentoring and tutoring programs and is planning a free seminar for small business. He said the church in the African-American community has always traditionally been at the forefront of real change, noting the importance of the church in movements such as the Abolitionist and Civil Rights movements of the past. Clergy in Action is partnering with the Mayor’s Office and the city of Bessemer’s Parks and Recreation Department to host a Back-to-School Blast. The Back-to-School Blast will take place at DeBardeleben Park on August 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The park is at 1623 Second Avenue North. The event is free to the public and will include the giving away of school supplies, uniforms and backpacks for Bessemer’s school children. There will also be entertainment and fun activities for the family. “We want to make sure we are doing our part to help make sure our children in Bessemer are starting the school year off on the right foot,” Davis said. Davis said other churches in Bessemer are supporting the event, in addition to the nine churches who make up Clergy in Action. Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley said he is excited about the role the ministers want to play in revitalizing the city. “I am thrilled to see our faith community unite in this way for this initiative and on behalf of the citizens of this city,” Gulley said. “I have said many times that if there is going to be a true difference in our city, it has to come through everyone being involved, including our faith-based community. “I want to thank Clergy in Action for coordinating this event and working with the Parks and Recreation Department to provide supplies for students in this city who might not otherwise have been able to get those supplies. “Anytime we can partner with the clergy to accomplish goals, we’ve overjoyed to do that.” For more information on Clergy in Action, contact or visit its Facebook page, Clergy in Action. You can also contact the pastors of the nine churches involved. The ministries who comprise Clergy in Action are: First Baptist Old Jonesboro Greater 14th Street Baptist Church Zion Hill Baptist Church New Hope Baptist Church Rock Mountain Baptist Church Spring Chapel Baptist Church New Salem Baptist Church-Mobile Junction Galilee Baptist Church Mount Hebron Baptist Church