It’s the ‘whole message of the church’ | News | The Press and Standard

by | December 24, 2016 5:00 am

Last Updated: December 21, 2016 at 10:43 am

When Ben Ahl of Ben Ahl Ministries began making bags of Christmas goodies for veterans about five years ago, he quickly discovered he needed help.
He found that help in an unlikely place — Jean Engle and the members of Riverview Baptist Church in Beaufort.
A group from Riverview was in Walterboro at one of his events, Ahl said, and he mentioned that they needed help. The next thing he knew, he had 1,000 cookies, hats, t-shirts and a variety of other items.
This is nothing new to Riverview members, however. “We’re a small church, but our women’s missionary union believes in giving back,” Engle said. “Not everyone is as blessed as we are.”
This year, the church members collected 220 bags of goodies: socks, Vietnam veterans ball caps, handmade needlepoint ornaments and crocheted stockings stuffed with candy canes and hard candies. The women also baked 55 dozen cookies.
All these items were added to bags of fruit collected by Ahl and his members and presented to veterans at Veterans Victory House on Saturday.
But this is not the only project undertaken by the Riverview members. “We set a schedule annually so we know what organizations we are going to be helping each year,” Engle said. “Our membership has a little over 300 on the roster, but lots of them are elderly and not able to get out. We always make sure they are remembered and know they are not forgotten.”
About 60 of the 300 members are active in the church. In addition to the women’s group, the men’s group led by Pastor Leon Meadows travels around the country, helping in disasters from S.C. to Alaska. Engle is public relations director of the WMU and works with Rose Deal, president, and Barbara Cook, who she describes as her “partner in crime,” to organize the outreach.
“It’s a good church family. And it is a family — when you get to church, you’re happy to see each other,” Engle said.
“You need to help each other — that’s the whole message of the church.”

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