Liberty raises thousands for Gideon’s

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 22, 2003

The next time you visit a hotel, open the desk drawer next to your bed. Is there a small, fresh copy of the Good Book itself, the word of the Almighty, the Bible? If so, there’s a good chance it may have been put there by Gideon’s International, which has distributed the Book’s psalms and scriptures to nearly 180 countries in over 80 languages. Last year alone, the organization handed out 60 million Bibles.

Without places like Suffolk’s Liberty Baptist Church, however, the group might not be as successful as it is. On Thursday afternoon, the church held its third annual Liberty Golf Classic at the Nansemond River Golf Club. The event was estimated to bring in its highest total yet for Gideon’s, having raised nearly $12,000 by day’s end. The past two tournaments raised over $20,000 for the Bible handlers.

Nearly 200 local golfers played in the contest. Church music director Jimmy Latham was among them.

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&uot;I’ve been a member of the church for about nine years,&uot; said Latham, playing in his second Liberty competition. &uot;We all wanted to show support for our church and for Gideon’s. I’m always thinking about winning, but we just all wanted to have fun.&uot; The team of Ty Brooks, Ben Ellis, Bob Bleiler and Tim Mathias won the tournament with a score of 57.

Latham brought his pal Steve Parker up from Sunbury, N.C. up to drive, chip and putt. &uot;There is probably no more important message that needs to get out there than the Bible,&uot; said Parker. &uot;It’s great to be a part of this tournament.&uot;

In other golf news, Jonathan Pinchbeck notched his second medallist honor in as many days Thursday as Lakeland defeated Windsor 317-418 at the Suffolk Golf Course (Franklin also competed in the meet, but was disqualified for fielding only three players. Pinchbeck shot a 79 for the Cavaliers, who will host Indian River on Monday.