Faceville community park gets a facelift

Published 5:43 pm Friday, June 3, 2016


Thanks to the Faceville Baptist Youth missions group, the Faceville community park is getting a major overhaul this week.

According to the church’s youth minister, Kim Jeter, each year the youth of the church take on community improvement projects the first week of summer vacation, once school is out.

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These include doing pressure washing of houses, and windows, sweeping roofs and picking up yard waste for the elderly and those in need of some help. But there is always a big project.

This year they are refurbishing the Everett W. Murray Community Park, which according to the town residents, “was in bad need of fixing.”

The group is made up of 35 boys and girls, plus some adult volunteers, and in one week’s time they have replaced all the rotted seats on the bleachers at the ball park, painted the existing swing sets and cleared all the vines and undergrowth that had taken over the park. New activities are being added, including a beach volleyball court, a mock sailboat complete with sails, where children can sit and pretend to steer across the waves. There is a green frog made from painted car tires. Other tires are painted red with ladybug faces. They will be used for swings. A giant tractor tire will become a sand pit.

Church pastor Ernie Jones said the mission group of 18 girls and 17 boys range in age from 12 and up. He also spoke of how on Memorial Day the youth placed flags on veterans’ graves in local cemeteries.

Jeter told how the group began doing mission work in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, doing foreign missions for several years. “Then, we realized it (charity) starts at home. We need to do work where it is needed at home,” she explained.

She said the group put out 250 flags this past Memorial Day and on Thursday of this week have already pressure washed 23 houses in addition to working on the park.

One particularly touching story was how the church community showed love to a family that had lost a child in an accident. “We remade the entire house in one week,” said Jeter.

The good will is not limited to Faceville Baptist church members, but to anyone in the community, according to Jeter. “When we find a need we try to do it.”

One non-church going lady had a tree go through the house roof and a piece of tin was needed to repair it. Thanks to a generous contribution, the tin was available and installed. This prompted the woman to start coming to the church and later baptized. At that time, Jeter said she made the comment, “Who knew that a piece of tin would lead to streets of gold.”

The community park was named after Everett W. Murray, a lifelong Faceville community resident.

He was primarily a peanut farmer, but also peddled produce by horse and buggy to people in Quincy, Chattahoochee and Bainbridge until he bought his first Model T Ford in 1925.

He served as a Decatur County District 5 Commissioner from 1964 to 1984, when he was named “Honorary County Commissioner” for life. As an active member of the Faceville Community Club Inc., he donated the land that became the community park.

On Saturday, June 4, the town of Faceville will celebrate the newly renovated park with a block party beginning at 11 a.m. and running until 2 p.m. A new U. S. flag donated by Woodmen of the World will be raised at the entrance to the park.