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7/9/97 Church’s Brotherhood leader works ‘to keep them active’

GAFFNEY, S.C. (BP)–Edward Patterson’s philosophy of Brotherhood work is simple and sensible: “When you’re in charge of men and boys, you’ve got to keep them active or they’ll lose interest.”
As director of Brotherhood for Midway Baptist Church, Gaffney, S.C., Patterson makes sure his “guys” stay busy. A quick summary of the organization’s activities in 1996 reveals this productive bustle. The group of 30 Brotherhood men, 12 Challengers and 12 Royal Ambassadors:
— raised more than $6,295 for various mission projects, including material for a church building in Venezuela and one in Gaffney, renovations at the home of a stroke victim and Meals on Wheels of Gaffney;
— constructed a church building in Venezuela, South America — Brotherhood men joined 27 other volunteers in the effort.
— helped build Indian Hill Baptist Church, Gaffney, an African American church;
— did additional construction work at Camp Long Ridge at Ridgeway and McCall Royal Ambassador Camp;
— held 17 projects including collecting donations to Connie Maxwell Children’s Home, aiding Samaritan’s Purse humanitarian ministry, serving migrant workers and working with social service agencies in the Gaffney area; and
— held three work days at Midway and one at a sister church in Gaffney.
“It’s been exciting,” Patterson said. “You do a few things in the community, and your name gets out there, and you’ll have people calling you all the time. If only one person in a group sets forth to do good works, others will want to be involved in those efforts. It is amazing what people can accomplish if they just let the Lord work through them and let him guide their path.”
Ben Connell, director of the men’s ministries department at the South Carolina Baptist Convention, said Midway’s Brotherhood could serve as an example to other men’s groups, large or small.
“Brotherhood leaders just need to survey their own men and look for projects that will utilize their skills,” Connell said. “It doesn’t have to be laying block like Ed’s group; what local men’s groups need to do is simply use their talents and skills where they are. That’s the challenge.”
“You just can’t stay within the walls of church and do God’s will, or expect to be a blessing, or get a blessing,” Patterson added.

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  • Amanda Phifer