In early April 2015, a small group of parishioners, led by the Rev. Rodney Gordon, gathered in the Parish Hall of St. Peter’s in Oak Grove following a Vestry meeting. The group prayed for God’s leading on how we could fill the gap of the recent closing of the Goodwill Store in our area. Who could have imagined that less than a month later a feasible plan would be developed? The owners of Bowie’s Hardware in Oak Grove, having heard of our intentions, offered to make space in their store available for our Thrift Shop ministry. By mid-May, our most gracious landlords, Donna and Jimmy Dodd, had renovated almost 1,500 square feet of their hardware store for our use. Without their commitment and shared vision to serve those in our community, this ministry could not have gained traction.
Since our opening on June 2nd, we have not only met many wonderful people who shop and donate regularly, but we have become a fixture for many in our community by providing inexpensive clothing, household goods, a smile and friendly conversation. We have exceeded all of our expectations, and have even expanded into another large area that had been used as a storage room for the hardware store. God has truly blessed this ministry and has moved us faster than we could have ever imagined! We recently allocated our profits for the first four months of operation to community outreach including assistance to several families in need, and have established a scholarship with our local community college.
As our vision statement proclaims, “St. Peter’s strives to be a small church with a big heart, providing a safe and loving Christian environment for all people through Christ-centered worship, education and community outreach.” We are sincere in the hope that the Thrift Shop ministry is just one way we can reach out into our community to show and share God’s love for all.
By: The Rev. Deacon Linda Murphy