Church celebrates its mortgage burning

Published 2:54 pm Friday, February 25, 2011

Jan. 30 was a day of celebration for the members and guests of Greater Mount Calvary First Born Church on East Broad Street in Climax as the church mortgage was burned.

According to church members, it all began as a vision of Bishop Titus B. Deas Sr., former pastor of Douglas Temple First Baptist Church of the living God. He had a the vision to build a bigger and better sanctuary for the people to worship and praise God. All agreed God chose the right man for the job.

Church member Sandra Nichols said, “Bishop Deas Sr. would always tell us members, ‘to plan our work and to work our plan.’ God had given Bishop Deas a vision, and he planned his work and worked his plan.”

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A loan was acquired by the bishop and church deacons, and work began on a new sanctuary. Then in May 1997 the members marched into the new Greater Mount Calvary FBC Church of the Living God with Bishop Deas as the founding pastor. He continued to serve the church in this capacity for several years. Today the pastor is Elder Earl O. Germany, who made the guests welcome and presided over the mortgage burning.

A host of elders, ministers, former church members, guests from the Climax community, and dignitaries from the county and city of Climax, including Climax Mayor Charles Hadsock and his wife, Danna Sue. Representing County Commissioner Butch Mosely was his wife, June. Also present was former Climax Mayor Liz Phillips.

June Mosely gave congratulations to the church for being able to pay off their mortgage early, and expressed how much the community appreciated Greater Mount Calvary as a role model in Christian leadership.

Mayor Hadsock spoke not only as the mayor, but also as the president of the Climax Community Club. He said it was a great and prestigious day for the church, and the City of Climax was honored to join the church in the official burning of the mortgage.

“This speaks well of the leadership and the congregation of Greater Mount Calvary for the work and dedication required to reach this special event. This is a very significant milestone for the church, and all of us take this opportunity to join in the celebration and finalization marked by the burning of the mortgage,” Hadsock said.

He went on to say that Greater Mount Calvary was a very civic-minded church and serves the community of Climax well. He said that the church had played a major role in the success of the Climax Community Club Swine Time Festival. This church for several years was responsible for the preparation and cooking of chittlings for Swine Time, donating chittlings for the chittling eating contest.

Pastor Earl Germany has given the invocation on several occasions during the Swine Time welcoming ceremony. Greater Mount Calvary is also very active in the Climax Community Easter Sunrise Services,

Mayor Hadsock concluded with, “We appreciate the work and dedication this church has provided for our community. I would like to thank Greater Mount Calvary F.B. Church for allowing me the opportunity to join in this joyous celebration today. We pray that the Lord will continue to bless this church, the leadership, congregation and ministers of the church.”

Words of encouragement were also given by former Phillips as she congratulated the church and related how much she appreciated the friendship of the membership.

Special musical entertainment was given by former BHS football player and 2008 Super Bowl Championship winner with the New York Giants, now with the St. Louis Rams, James Butler Jr. While at home in Climax, James had a very active ministry in music and leadership as a member of Douglas Temple and later Greater Mount Calvary.

Paying the mortgage off early and the celebration was like a homecoming for many. After the services everyone marched outside where prayer was given by Bishop Titus B. Deas Sr. Then pastor Germany presided over the mortgage burning ceremony.

However, Bishop Deas admonished the church that there was plenty of work yet to be done in God’s Kingdom.

“There are three types of people. People that let things happen. People that watch things happen and there are people that make things happen,” Deas said.

He told the church that this celebration was not an ending but a beginning.

Many, such as William Thomas, were very emotional as they could not stop the tears of joy. He said he embraced all the memories at his old Church while the Bishop preached.

This seemed to be the atmosphere as all marched out to the mortgage burning.

Winning a door prize of a seven-layer caramel cake baked by Ruby Douglas Peterson was Mary Smart of Bainbridge.

The members of Greater Mount Calvary Church expressed their appreciation to all who came to help them celebrate the joyous occasion and invited all to return again during their regular worship services each Sunday.

Committee members are Deacon L.C. Douglas, Deacon Floyd Harris, Deaconess Ruby Peterson, Deaconess Deloris Turner and Brother Christopher Germany.