Rector Community Thanksgiving Held
A large crowd gathered at the Rector Community Center Sunday evening to join together as one for a special program of fellowship, faith and gratitude at the 14th annual Community Thanksgiving Service.
Seven community church leaders attended the event, as the service blurred denominational lines to unite all who gathered in a celebration to give thanks for the many blessings experienced by each church, family and the community as a whole. Pastors, ministers and leaders present included: Mace Straubel of First United Methodist Church; Brad Gilbert of First General Baptist Church; Richard Raspberry of Life Change Community Church; Phillip La Rue of New Life Christian Center; Ken Roden of Fifth and Pine Church of Christ' James Henry Dortch of Blue Cane General Baptist Church and Rector Mayor David Freeman.
Mayor Freeman welcomed the crowd and gave an overview of the program. He noted how Rector is a wonderful place to call home, and how the community and its leaders work together to make it so.
Straubel gave the event's invocation, which was followed by a performance of the "Star Spangled Banner" by the RHS Choir under the direction of Melinda VanAalsburg.
RHS Future Farmers of America members Meagan March and Emma Hobbs led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
LaQuieu shared a scripture and led the crowd in singing "We Gather Together" and "We Are So Blessed/Thank You Lord."
Raspberry presented the devotional, noting how the special service united everyone for the same purpose.
The RHS Choir returned to the stage, performing the patriotic songs, "My Country 'Tis of Thee"; "America, the Beautiful" and "American Hymn," much to the delight of those in attendance.
Gilbert presented the Benediction for the event, bringing the program to a close.
"Events like this are a vital part of our community," Mayor Freeman said following the service. "We are all so very fortunate, but there are times it's easy to lose sight of that in the scope of our lives. Being able to come together like this and celebrate our faith, our children, our community, helps remind us of just how truly fortunate we are."