Why is Christmas a season for giving?
“We know that Jesus Christ was given as a gift to the world. The Bible says, ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.’ In return, what we do as believers is give gifts, as well, to the people we love and to the world at large.”
What can you tell us about the Gas on God fundraiser and what inspired Christ Deliverance Temple to organize the Gas on God event?
“God has laid upon my wife’s and my heart to be a blessing to as many people as we possibly can. We want to bless single mothers, single fathers, our first responders.
When we were thinking about what to do this year, we understood one of the things everybody needs — it’s universal just about — is we need gas.”
Is paying for gas top among concerns you’ve heard from folks?
“Yes — especially as it relates to inflation and the gas prices.
Even though we may not be able to fill up everybody’s tank, what we can do is a little bit, and every little bit helps. We prayed about it and got with the leaders of our church and that’s why we decided to do the Gas on God project.
We are an outreach ministry and it’s always been our goal to reach those that are in need.”
What are some other pressing needs people face right now?
“Gas. Groceries. Utilities. A lot of times, there’s a lot of stress on people to get Christmas gifts. Sometimes, people have a tendency to overspend during this season. But we know the most important gift is love.
We’ve been doing Christmas at the Life Center for years. We didn’t want any children to go without a gift at Christmas.So, at the 11 o’clock service this coming Sunday, every child will get a toy. And adults will enter into a raffle to win big prizes.”
Are the needs of people in Columbus different from other parts of the state, such as Albany or Atlanta?
“One of the things we see in Columbus that’s different — and it’s only second to Atlanta — is a high homeless population. It’s because of our military personnel. Some of our veterans have fallen through the cracks. I hate to say that but that’s one of the differences in our community and one of the needs of our community.
We also do a food bank and a clothing pantry. Our church is in an urban area so that’s what we try to do to be a blessing to those who right now may be a little bit down — but they’re not out.”
Beyond donating money and material items, how can people give this season to help meet someone’s spiritual or emotional needs?
“People can always pray. If you’re a lover of people, love the Lord, want to serve humanity, you may just want to be out there to give a word of encouragement to somebody who might need it.
I have learned that it’s more than we can financially give or more than we can physically give.
Right now, people are bereaved. They are sad. COVID has ravaged our community and our country, and even the world. To be a conduit of prayer, to give encouragement, to uplift our brothers and sisters — that’s our greatest gifts.We know that the joy of the Lord is our strength. We are encouraged by that. Give the gift of love and joy this year.”
Why is it important to give?
“It’s important because you can give without loving but you can’t love without giving. We understand that God is love.
When we serve humanity, when we give of ourselves, our time, our resources, our ability, what that really does is it reconnects us to humanity. It reconnects us to our purest self. It reconnects us to our purpose.
When we get down to the real root of giving, we are blessed to be a blessing. That’s why we do what we do. I believe God will send blessings to you so he can be a blessing through you. I believe that we are the hands, feet, and heart of God here on Earth.”
How to Help
Donate to Gas on God via these two apps:
Cash App: @aplus2019
Biblify app: Christ Deliverance Temple, The Life Cent
Number of congregants: 75
Favorite Bible verse: Romans 8:28 — “And we know that in all things God works in the favor of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Favorite hymn: “Yes, Jesus Loves Me”
Favorite religious leader of all-time: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Best thing about Columbus: “The people. Some of the greatest people with the most giving hearts, giving spirits. We have such beautiful, good-hearted, smiling people in Columbus, Georgia.”
Best thing about Christ Deliverance Temple: “Our giving hearts. We are the giving church. A lot of churches want people to come in. We want people to come in, but we want people to go out into the community to be a change agent.”
True meaning of Christmas: “Jesus. It’s not about Santa Claus. It’s not about Christmas trees. It’s not even about the gifts. It’s about Jesus. Unto us a Child is born and his name is Jesus.”