Local minister works to build a church

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Suffolk News-Herald

Building a church is hard work.

While the Rev. Shaun Clark knew that when he decided to start a church in Suffolk, his experiences a few weeks into the effort only confirmed his suspicions.

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But the Florida native believes he is up to the task and is pulling out all the stops to get the Trinity Fellowship up and running.

For the past several weeks, the church has been meeting Thursday nights at the Dining Room restaurant on Pinner Street. He said he’s getting about 10 people to turn out but is hopeful that number will pick up as word gets around.

Clark was busy getting the word out on Tuesday morning. Motorists going through the busy intersection of Pinner and Constance Road did double takes as they passed the reverend seated in a chair reading scripture beside a sign that read &uot;Free Prayer.&uot;

&uot;I’m here to serve the community,&uot; he said, shivering slightly in the brisk, 40-degree weather. &uot;Anybody who stops by, I will lift their prayers up to God. Obviously, when they stop I will give them a card and an invitation to join our fellowship. Really this is to just let them know we exist and to serve God.&uot;

This was Clark’s second vigil at the intersection since he started the church and a few motorists have taken up his offer.

&uot;This is a good way to get noticed,&uot; he said.

Trinity Fellowship is an Assembly of God church. Prior to striking out on his own, Clark had been serving as an associate pastor at the Churchland Assembly of God.

He said he received the call to the ministry after 11 years as a sailor in the Navy, where he met his wife, Wallace Elaine. While serving as a layman since 1985, the Florida native enrolled in Tidewater Bible College about six years ago after being discharged from the Navy. After four years of study he went through the boards and became and Assembly of God pastor.

Clark said the lack of an Assembly of God Church in Suffolk is what drew him here.

The closest one is on the border in Franklin,&uot; he said. This is one of the fastest growing cities in the state. The people who are coming here need a church to serve them and meet their needs and those of their families.

&uot;Everyone needs to be a part of the body of Christ so we can bear each other’s burdens.&uot;

The Trinity Fellowship meets on Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. at the Dining Room on Pinner Street. Clark’s phone number is 285-9683.

&uot;Everyone is welcome,&uot; he said. &uot;We are there to worship God and encourage each other’s lives, to learn how to bear one another’s burdens and how to live a blessed life here now.&uot;