Submitted by Annette Michaels
As news that the eclipse was coming to their area, Tellico Plains, Tenn., Church members got excited. They were to have a full two minutes and 38 seconds of total eclipse. People from all over the world were coming to this sleepy little town.
The members began to pray and think about how they could use this event to touch lives for Jesus. When the town announced there would be a town meeting to discuss eclipse events, they saw opportunity.
Members prayed that God would open doors. In the past, the town people have not wanted the church involved. But, members had been making friends and getting involved. Church outreach coordinator Annette Michaels went to the town meeting sharing, “I’m from the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and we want to help!” The event coordinator for the town got very excited, saying, “We need help with concessions and parking. We so appreciate your church volunteering.” Michaels says, “She added that she knew Saturday is our Sabbath, confirming that we would help Sunday and Monday. God took care of protecting Sabbath in such a beautiful way.”
As Tellico Plains continued to meet and plan, the town coordinator asked if churches could offer comfort tents with big fans, chairs, and water so people could get out of the heat, rest, and cool down. Michaels volunteered the Tellico Church, and they were told, “Be sure to wear your church T-shirts, and display your church banner!”
When God opens doors, He opens them wide! They also had permission to share a magazine, The Day of the Lord.
Would the church have enough volunteers? They prayed. God knew. Harold and Linda Pomeroy had company from Florida, the Pensantes. All six volunteered. Jimmy and Cindy West were visiting Jimmy’s mother. Women from the community sign language class volunteered to help. Joe and Theresa Cooper from the Benton Church gave a helping hand.
Next problem to pray for: where to get enough water for thousands of people, and how to keep it cool. Ron Michaels, pastor, remembered that Crystal Geyser had donated water to the company he worked for. Ron and Annette Michaels prayed, then made a visit to the Crystal Geyser office.
Before they even left the parking lot after completing the request form at the Crystal Geyser office, Ron’s phone rang. “Can you haul that water, today?”
The next morning, two pallets of water were loaded on the truck. A company out of Knoxville donated ice. A church member bought a freezer.
During the eclipse events, the Tellico Church’s fluorescent green shirts were seen everywhere helping with parking, concessions, postcards, comfort tent, and more. Thousands of people drank water and thanked them.
At the end of the event, after giving out water to thirsty guests, the church members still had almost as much water as they began with. They wanted to pass on the blessing, and donated half the water to the local senior center, and the other half to the Monroe County family resource center for the lunches given to children in need.
The Tellico Plains Church is now getting many opportunities in the community to be involved.
Their motto is “Serving God by Serving Others.”
Georgia-Cumberland | December 2017