Gossip hurts ministry

Dear editor,

While shopping in Rockdale Wednesday, I was informed by a friend that people were spreading negative comments regarding our ministry at The Country Preacher’s Fishing Hole. Several people don’t like the mess: “It should not be on church property” and “that preacher is trying to cheat people with his prices.” This is not the first time I have heard this gossip, but I feel it is time for a reply.

We came here 12 years ago and opened a small church in Praesel Addition that was closed. We changed the name to Calvary Baptist Church to eliminate any possible negative history. We had a dream of a place where people could worship on Sunday and conduct Bible studies during the week.

In 2002, the Country Preacher’s Fishing Hole was started next door to the church. For reasons beyond our control, it became necessary to move the ministry onto the church property. This was done with the consent of the church. During the past eight years, through donations of goodhearted people, we have provided clothes, furniture, toys, a few antiques, knick-knacks and more to the people of Rockdale, either free or at a low cost. We are not a resale shop. We are a ministry.

We have recently given away several items of furniture, but the gossip that prompted this article was: “That preacher out there tried to cheat me with his high prices.” Really!

1. In 2000, our son got sick and came home to spend his last years serving our church as music minister. He died on Sept. 24, 2005 from multiple organ failure. We spent a lot of time taking him to doctors’ appointments. We spent 28 days of one month at the hospital with him in Austin.

2. In 2003, I had a heart attack. I am doing fine now, but still cannot do all of the things I did prior to the attack.

3. In 2005, The Country Preacher was diagnosed with cancer. He is still on oral-chemo, which plays havoc with his energy.

4. In 2006, I was diagnosed with cancer. The radiation left me with a physical problem that I am told I will have to deal with for the rest of my life, unless God sees fit to heal me.

5. In 2007, The Country Preacher broke his arm and went around for seven weeks with one arm in a cast, trying to keep things in order.

6. In 2007, The Country Preacher had a bleed-out from his radiation treatment and almost died.

During all of this, we have kept the ministry going. We recently had one man donate $320 to help us with a “building fund.” If more Rockdale people who approve of our ministry would help with a “building fund,” or help us build a building, we could remove the items that are on the church parking lot.

We have been told by some friends in a ministry outside of Rockdale that if we can hold on until November and December, they can help us. This is wonderful that someone wants to help, but we need some people from Rockdale to volunteer for the ministry on a regular basis.

To those who complain about the mess on church property: What is the business of a church? To preach the gospel and to minister to the poor.

The Country Preacher sometimes ministers to more people on the church parking lot during a given week than he does some Sundays. Would we rather have the ministry back next door as it was? Yes.

During the past 12 years, we have provided shelter to a traveling missionary, another minister, and a homeless couple. When we had the money, we provided work for those who needed monetary assistance.

Gossiping kills a ministry and this is God’s ministry. When you criticize us, you criticize God. Matthew 25:40 says: “And the King shall answer and say unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’” Is your gossip blessing the Lord or hindering His ministry?

Carrie Adams

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2010-09-16 digital edition

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