Faith, family are an integral part of our city

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 1, 2004

Welcome to the first section of our Horizons 2004 – Faith and Family. This seems a fitting start to an in-depth look at Suffolk and the people who make the city a great place to live.

Like Danville, which is a few hours west of here, there seems to be a church on every corner or storefront.

But most of those would be just pretty, empty buildings without people taking an active part in weekly worship and then following through in their workaday worlds.

Email newsletter signup

The staff has concentrated on people who have played an active role in their respective churches. For example, we lead off with staff writer Evelyn Wall’s story on the Rev. C.J. Word, pastor emeritus of East End Baptist Church. He was never content to preach just on Sundays; he was active in events that have shaped his community in a myriad of ways – from civil rights to promoting education, for example. Now going on 95 years of age, Word may have slowed down a bit, but he’s still doing what he can to make the city better, day by day and person by person.

Fellow staff writer Barbara Allen reports on Open Door Church, to which she belonged at one time, and how that congregation has grown in both size and spirit, thanks in no small part to the leadership of the Revs. Tony and Kathy Peaks. She’ll take you through the Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church, which hopes to live up to its name by modifying a section of Godwin Boulevard into a new place of worship. Southside Baptist Church has already taken steps to do so; it recently placed a $1.2 million educational facility at the intersection of Turlington and Carolina roads. Perhaps the facility will also house programs such as the Suffolk Academy of Godly Education, which is held at the Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church. Jason Norman tells us all about it. What should people wear to their new cathedrals? Allison Williams lets us know in her story about religious outfitting.

You’ll also meet Police Officer Keith Isaac Fromme as he spends a day patrolling, protecting and serving the citizens of Suffolk. Next week, we’ll look at the growing economy of this fair city.